Employees are the most valuable asset for any company. The productivity of your workforce decides how successful your business will be.
Your employee’s attendance is closely linked to their productivity. Lets see how the two are connected and what you can do to improve employee attendance.
Why is punctuality important at workplace?
Arriving and leaving on time is closely related to productivity of your workforce. Punctuality is not just the punch- in and punch-out time but also showing up on time for meetings and honoring promised timelines.
Punctuality is a value that must be present in the very culture of your company. Without time – management all your projects will miss the mark because of following problems
You may have noticed the effect an early day has on your productivity. When you start your day on time, you get ample time to prepare your mind, set an agenda for the day and finish tasks on your list.
On the other hand, late arrival at office leads to piled up work, hasty meetings and unfinished tasks. Quality of work suffers when employees are not punctual.
Teamwork and collaborative projects suffer when some members are not punctual. Making a team of people work together to achieve common goals is not an easy task.
There is lot of coordination required and dependency on each member when it comes to collaborative projects between different teams. The team needs to work on a common timeline and all actions must be performed like clockwork for projects to succeed. Without punctuality teamwork is hard to achieve.
Punctuality and absenteeism are indicators of employee engagement and employee morale. Late arrival of employees to office or meetings signals lack of motivation in their jobs.
This low morale spreads to other employees as well and can be toxic for your company culture. Your workforce productivity can plummet in such an environment, if appropriate action is not take to address absenteeism.
So what can you do to improve attendance and lower absenteeism in your office? It is upto to the employer to encourage punctuality and create an environment of discipline.
You also need employee engagement activities to encourage higher attendance.Here are some concrete measures that you can take:
First and foremost you must have a written attendance policy for the employees. This should be a part of induction of all new joinees and must be made easily available to everyone as an internal resource.
The idea is to make sure that everybody is aware of minimum and maximum attendance expected from employees and the consequences of not meeting it.
Remember to also have policies against overtime and unnecessary late hours. These habits are usually a sign of inefficiency and different times for different teams can create a feeling of injustice. Its best to encourage employees to arrive and leave on time although this does not apply to some industries.
Give a serious thought to the freedom of working hours you want to give in your company. Some companies find it beneficial to give flexible working hours and work from home option to their employees. This will again vary from industry to industry.
Your attendance policy must detail attendance requirement of employees, leave system, leave encashment, absenteeism and disciplinary action for defaulters.
Similarly a formal leave approval system should also be in place. Employees must submit their leave request in advance (except sick leave) and get an approval from their reporting managers.
An accurate attendance tracking system is important to maintain employee attendance records. This lets the employees know that their attendance is being counted and taken seriously.
There are many technologies available today for attendance tracking. There are biometric systems, web portals, mobile applications with GPS tracking and WiFi attendance tracking to choose from.
A good application will also give attendance reports and integrated leave management system.
With a good attendance tracking system you can get concrete data on employee absenteeism, frequent days of absence, unaccounted leaves, etc.
Advanced technologies like WiFi also allows HR to track exact location in the premise. This means productive hours spent on desk can also be recorded.
Employees with poor attendance record or absenteeism must be dealt with according to the attendance policy.
People are not motivated to come to office just for work. Their projects, bonding with teammates and relation with reporting manager are strong motivators too.
It is the people and environment that give meaning to jobs, so strengthening relations is one of the best ways to improve attendance in your office. People are ready to go the extra mile when their colleagues are also their friends.
Employee bonding can be achieved with team competitions, office trips, team building activities and office parties. You should also make sure that the overall environment of your office is conducive to building friendships.
Things like seating arrangements, hierarchical structure and company policies shape the interactions of a company.
Letting your employees know that you appreciate their timeliness will encourage them to be punctual. You can show this appreciation by giving awards at annual functions or quarterly titles for the most punctual employee.
You may also want to consider giving incentives for meeting deadlines and timely project deliveries if that fits in your compensation program.
If a particular employee’s attendance is in poor shape you should consider implementing an employee attendance improvement plan. This is nothing but an intervention plan to help employees to correct their course and get their attendance up to the mark again.
Any plan must start with a detailed discussion with the employee and understanding their reasons for absenteeism or unaccounted leaves.
Sometimes employees have a genuine problem like a sick spouse, addictions or single parenthood. In this case flexible working options or part- time schedule can be worked out.
Once the problem is known a 30-day plan can be made to evaluate employee productivity and punctuality.Counseling sessions, scheduling assistant and supervisory observation is an important part of employee attendance improvement program.
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