Employee absenteeism and tardiness are major "start-of-the-workday" problems for supervisors and managers. Some companies have formal policies aimed at controlling absenteeism and tardiness. To make sure these controls actually work, they must be communicated to employees -- they must know what your attendance standards are and how their attendance records will affect their advancement, performance ratings, discipline and future employment. As with most workplace rules, a positive approach usually works better than a negative one. The first steps to control absenteeism and tardiness should be: Holding a work-unit or department-wide competition and awarding a small bonus to the group with the best attendance record for a month or quarter. Use attendance records as a factor in granting promotions and salary increases. Giving an attendance award (small amounts of cash, extra leave, or recognition at a special company function or occasion) to employees who meet certain attendance standards. Establishing a sick leave program that does not pay employees for the first (1-3) days of illness -- this tends to discourage short absences (especially around holidays the company does not observe). Pay for all unused sick leave time at year-end or when the employee leaves the company (regardless of the circumstances for the departure). Get this time off your books and close the record. This is a good rule on vacation or other paid time off. Allow employees to carry-over sick leave from year to year (but for no more than 3 years) or convert it to vacation or personal days. Many times when an employee calls in sick, they are not really not ill, they are just taking a "personal day" off. You should consider the concept of "personal days" -- give employees 2-4 "personal days" after they’ve been on the job for 3 years -- they can use the time for personal business, bereavement, whatever. More and more employers are starting to use "personal days" exclusively. Under these plans, each employee receives a number of personal days, rather than sick days, each year. Employees may take personal days at any time, for any reason (with proper notice where possible). This policy can improve employee morale. Employees do not have to lie, and they do not feel patronized.
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