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employee attendance policy

How to Write an Employee Attendance Policy?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Employee attendance policy is a pillar of business success, as it helps improve employee productivity, reduces absenteeism, sets clear expectations for employees, and ensures transparency company-wide. 


That’s why we decided to help you build an effective, transparent, and productive workplace by providing you with a few tips on how to make a good employee policy and set yourself up for success.


What is the employee attendance policy?


To explain it briefly, an employee attendance policy is a set of rules that address the questions on how various issues such as no-shows, no-call-no-shows, and different types of leaves will be handled. Employee attendance policy also details disciplinary actions that will be adhered to if employees don’t follow them.


Why does your organization need an employee attendance policy?


As we said before, having an effective employee attendance policy in place is crucial for business success. Here are just some of the ways it helps businesses achieve their goals.


  • It helps HR managers allocate the workforce more efficiently. When there is an effective employee attendance policy in place, HR managers can allocate the workforce more efficiently. For instance, stating that staff members have to be on the floor 15 minutes before the beginning of their shift will allow everything runs smoothly while switching. Furthermore, knowing when and how to ask for leave will allow HR managers to allocate the workforce in a way that won’t make productivity suffer while ensuring that everyone gets their deserved leave.

  • It helps in cost control. Each time an employee suddenly doesn’t show up to work, the company loses money. Each employee is a valuable piece of the puzzle, and tardiness caused by absenteeism can give a company a bad reputation. Sick leave abuse can also damage productivity, decrease employee motivation, and endanger output which can all lead to money and time loss.

  • It allows greater workforce transparency. Having an employee leave policy in place allows each employee to have an equally distributed time off from work since everything can be properly tracked and documented. Furthermore, when employees don’t have to cover for their late and no-show coworkers, they’re more likely to maintain good levels of motivation, and infighting between them is decreased to a minimum.


How to Write an Employee Attendance Policy?


Now, when we discussed the importance and benefits of an employee attendance policy, let’s see how you can make it work for your workplace. Here are some steps to take:


Step #1: Define different types of attendance, and clarify the consequences.


To ensure everyone understands the attendance policy you’ve put in place, you have to define various types of leave and detail the consequences that could happen in case someone doesn’t follow them, including:


  • Office absenteeism. You need to define what absenteeism is, what marks an employee absent, what you view as excessive absenteeism or job abandonment, and the disciplinary action for those attendance infractions, as well as what employees need to do to avoid negative attendance points or disciplinary action.   


  • Sick Day vs Personal leave. One of the most important things to define while making an employee attendance policy is what is considered sick leave and whether it is paid or not. You should also state what there needs to be provided to be qualified to take one.


  • FMLA protected leave. If your company is covered for FMLA leave, you should ensure your leave policy takes this into an account and explains the process of what’s needed to request it.


  • Tardiness. Some people are chronically late. And while we tolerate our friends being late frequently, at work this state of forgiveness shouldn’t be tolerated. To avoid tardiness as much as possible, make sure employees know why it’s important for them to be punctual, how you’ll count tardiness, and what are the consequences of it.


Step #2: Determine how you’ll measure attendance.


When you define all the leave types in your attendance policy, and how you’ll sanction non-compliance, it’s time to determine how you’ll track and measure the attendance of each employee in your company. The attendance management system is something that will help you stay on top of the game, and you should clearly state whether you’ll be using logins, biometric scanners, timecards, or time and attendance tracking software.


Step #3: Ask employees for feedback.


When you create the first draft of your leave and attendance policy, make sure to share it with your employees and get their opinion about it. Since organizations vary in size, you might want to either only give management a chance to give feedback or distribute it to everyone. They should check whether something in it seems off, is it objective, or does something seems unrealistic?


The point behind is in building transparency, but creating a workforce that values each opinion, and works on a common goal – making everyday life in the office (or a home office that is) better.


Step #4: Don’t put anything you couldn’t respect yourself.


The bottom line, an effective employee attendance policy should be made in a way you would be comfortable working under yourself. Before you impose any rule in the workplace, make sure to question yourself about your behavior. Ask yourself whether you often come late to the office, whether you frequently take an unexpected day off, can you always notify your team in advance about your leave, and so on. Empathy is important even in tackling bureaucratic things such as making a policy. It’s important to set reasonable expectations you’d follow through easily, and avoid resentment.

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