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How to Improve Work Attendance Rates

Published October 4, 2016 (last updated on November 22, 2023) | Adam Wyatt - Copywriter and Content Creator


Managing sick days or tardiness can be one of the biggest challenges employers face.

If you have employees who are consistently late or sick, it might be good practice to subtly monitor them. You could try keeping a daily register that is reviewed periodically to monitor who is taking leave, is late and how often. If leave is deemed unreasonable or if there is a pattern of misuse, it needs to be addressed. For example, could it be that your staff are taking sick days in conjunction with weekends?

It is important to understand there are often times when bigger employment issues occur. For example, an employee may be absent from work due to an overwhelming feeling of anxiety due to being bullied or are simply overworked.

If leave is misused, it is an employer’s job to address the problem professionally and Employsure can help you to do so.

Avoid the frustration of employee tardiness and absenteeism by following our top three tips below. Although not your traditional methods, thinking outside the box of what your employees might be looking for is often the best place to start.

1. Introduce work benefits

Introducing fun things each Monday morning could improve tardiness. Buy your team a coffee and encourage employee social interaction for a few minutes. Something such as this not only provides an opportunity for staff bond, but it also gives them something to look forward to.

2. Acknowledge annual leave requests in a timely manner

Take a leaf out of Richard Branson’s book when it comes to annual leave. Approving annual leave or rostered days off will encourage staff to stay on and be loyal. If you do not acknowledge the request, anger and resentment will build and the staff member may call in sick or not show up at all, harming the working relationship in the long run.

3. A return to work interview

Having a ‘sickie’ is notorious. Good surf, hot days or long weekends are just some reasons businesses see spikes in sickies. A return to work interview can help put a stop to this. This takes the form of a mandatory meeting with your employee the day of their return, where you determine if they are fit for work. It is also best practice to request a doctor’s certificate for each sick day taken, even if it was just the one.

Knowing that you have to face your boss the day after a sickie will mean employees are more inclined to only take genuine sick days, or alternatively, schedule annual leave when it is appropriate. For those genuinely sick employees, this meeting provides the opportunity to address any health concerns or work related issues.

Whatever you do to manage sick leave, you need to ensure the policy and procedure is clearly outlined and communicated to employees. An Employee Handbook is the best way to ensure all policies and procedures are clearly outlined.

Employsure helps employers implement policies and procedures to support these initiatives and to improve overall attendance rates. As the leading workplace relations specialist, we can discuss how you can implement these, and other ideas into your workplace. Call us today on 0800 675 700.

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