In any company, employee turnover and absenteeism have the potential of becoming a significant and costly issue. For that reason, it’s important to have a solid attendance policy in place.
Once the rules and expectations for attendance are in place, you need to start thinking about what the consequences of violating those rules will consist of.
Common Consequences of Absenteeism
In many companies, the consequences of violating the attendance policy increase in severity with every recurrence of an infraction.
- Verbal Warning: after a first offense, the employee is warned verbally by his or her manager.
- Written Warning: with subsequent infractions, a written warning is given to the employee. This warning may include a reminder of what subsequent infractions could entail.
- Counseling: following or in conjunction with the written warning, counseling the employee on the importance of adhering to the attendance policy may be required. Counseling can also serve to uncover the root cause of the employee’s poor attendance record, which can lead to a positive resolution plan.
- Loss of privileges or work suspension: if infractions continue, the company may choose to revoke certain privileges or suspend the employee’s work without pay as a consequence. It’s also within the company’s right to terminate the employment of the individual if the above steps have proven to be unsuccessful.
Other Possible Consequences of Poor Attendance
In the previous section, we mentioned the possible loss of certain privileges as a consequence of not adhering to the company’s employee attendance policy. This is an area where you can tailor your absenteeism consequences to best serve your company’s needs and culture. Some of the options to consider include:
- Reduction or loss of wage increases: an employee who has had excessive absences may lose his or her eligibility to be considered for an upcoming raise or may receive a smaller raise.
- Loss of bonus pay: in a company that awards year-end bonuses, employees with chronic or poor attendance records may receive a smaller bonus or lose their bonus altogether.
- Ineligibility for promotions: employees may not be considered for or lose the privilege of applying for other positions within the company because of their poor attendance records.
- No overtime: overtime shifts with extra pay may not be offered to employees unless and until normal attendance resumes.
- More stringent sick time rules: employees who are more frequently absent may be required to follow stricter rules relating to sick time. These may include requiring a doctor’s note after fewer days sick.
With the right mix of consequences and disciplinary actions for abusing or not adhering to your company’s attendance policy, you should have a powerful tool to addressing employee turnover and absenteeism.