Breakneck deadlines, long commutes, and the eternal quest to prove one’s caliber; all lead to a stressful career and one needs to take regular breaks from work to be able to work with the highest levels of efficiency. Although a break from work is essential for every employee to connect with family, friends and focus on other personal events; it should be planned appropriately and has to be within the guidelines of an organization such that it doesn’t disrupt the work and affect the productivity. HR consultants warn that unnoticed issues related to employees’ leaves could not only affect the organization’s productivity but also lead to unwarranted grievances and resultant monetary losses. Employee attendance is not just about leaves and absenteeism but it is also about being late to work or taking unusual and long lunch breaks say the experts from HR consulting firms. Let’s take a look at some of the effective steps needed to handle employee absence issues as suggested by top HR consultants.
Put policy in place: Having a policy in place will work effectively, that too when it is clearly communicated to the employees through an employee handbook. The handbook should clearly state the expectations the organization has from its employees. This way, the organization can let its employees know, when and how they can apply for leave and how their attendance is managed. Clear guidelines and regulations will help the employees understand what is expected of them and avoid lame excuses that they didn’t know what is right or wrong with regards to absenteeism and attendance. Organizations can hire HR management consulting firms to draft their employee handbook if they are not equipped with proficient in-house human resources professionals.
Keep an eye: In spite of all the rules and regulations in place and being communicated to all the employees, there would be employees who ignore the rules and prefer to work on their own terms if they find that there is no mechanism to check attendance issues. Management should let such employees know that there is definitely a team that is watching their actions and their absenteeism is being noted. Employees lacking self-control can be effectively controlled by letting them know that they are being noticed.
Have strong evidence: When an employee is found to be taking too many breaks or leaves, the management should take considerable time and collect appropriate evidence to deal with such an employee, say the experts from HR consulting firms. It is always good to have actual dates and facts that substantiate the employee’s absenteeism when setting up a meeting with the employee.
Be open and show concern: It should be noted that usually, people who come to a workplace to earn their money and name would not like to do anything that would deny them these. The managers should be open to conversation with the employee with high absenteeism and try to identify the root cause of absenteeism. The HR professionals of the organization should show concern towards their employees and find out if something is wrong with their professional or personal life. There is no one size fits all approach to deal with such employees as each employee is unique and has a different story. Valuable employees should be provided flexibility if the reasons are genuine for their absenteeism.
Take action: Action, as laid out in the employee handbook, can be taken when the absenteeism doesn’t cease even after meetings and counseling with the employee.
The tardiness or absenteeism of few employees will affect other employees’ productivity and morale and even the business if not tackled appropriately on time. Businesses can take guidance from HR management consulting firms in framing policies and dealing with such unproductive employees.