Frequent absenteeism has negative implications for any business organization. This is because absenteeism leads to lower productivity and replacement costs. If the right steps are not taken to manage absenteeism, regular offenders can also have an influence on those who do not indulge in such practices.

Here are 6 ways you can improve the attendance of your employees:

1. Share Your Expectations

Most employees are not aware of the attendance expectations. This leads to excessive absenteeism. Tell your employees what you expect from them and the outcome of their actions. Share with them the importance of their contribution and the value they add to the company’s productivity.

 Set goals for attendance and performance. This way, employee motivation to attend work is high and they complete the goals defined for them. This information is essential and employees must be aware of the same since the induction. In fact, an employee handbook should help employees reinforce these policies from time to time.

2. Analyze Attendance Records

Attendance records help to understand patterns of absenteeism. For instance, if an employee is often absent on Mondays or Fridays or right after public holidays, the issue needs to be addressed. There is no law that allows you to confront employees following such a pattern but you may always discuss the same with them.

Organize special events or training courses on Fridays or the days after a public holiday so that employees are encouraged and motivated to attend.

3. Create a Policy

Some companies do not have clear attendance policies. These goals are important for employee growth. Employees must know what procedures they need to follow if they wish to take a leave. Some of the aspects of an attendance policy are as follows:

  • Employees must directly inform their immediate senior or another manager with the reason of their absence. Do not encourage the habit of just informing the receptionist or a team member. To talk to the manager or a person in authority, the employee must have a genuine reason.
  • Employees must inform before a certain time or a few days in advance in case of a planned leave.
  • A doctor’s certificate as evidence of the illness must be provided at the time of a medical leave. This may or may not be governed by the law of your country of operation. However, clearly state the evidence required for frequent absenteeism in your policy. 

4. Share the Consequences

Make employees aware of the actions that will be taken in case they do not adhere to the attendance policies. Remember, these consequences must not make them uncomfortable and you must not question them too much on the truthfulness of their illness.

Only a doctor’s certificate must do that. Additionally, share the benefits that they can receive on account of good attendance records. Such personal goals motivate the employee to make efforts and attend office on a regular basis.

5. Have a Dialogue when they Return

Speak to the employees in an informal manner once they are back from their sick leave. Inquire about their wellbeing and how fit are they to resume to work. This establishes a relationship of trust between the two and employees feel that you are genuinely concerned. They feel connected to the organization and want to exert more in their roles and responsibilities.

6. Keep an Eye on Any Hidden Causes

Poor attendance is often characterized by certain hidden causes. Common illnesses may not always be the reasons for an employee missing work regularly. The reasons could be substance abuse, co-worker conflicts, family crisis, legal issues, or an imbalance between work and personal life.

Before you take any action, discuss the reasons with the offender. Try to identify the root cause. Give employees the comfort to share their problems with you. As an added benefit, include strategies and policies to address the situation.

Taking strict action against frequent offenders may not be a good idea since you do not want to lose out good employees. Try and bridge the gap and create an atmosphere where employees only take leaves when it is unavoidable.