Company owners and managers can be plagued by employee attendance issues and need to update or establish an attendance policy to address such problems. Crafting an attendance policy can be challenging, particularly for hourly employees. Attendance policies for hourly employees often vary from the policies for salaried employees. Every business has unique needs and the attendance policies must be carefully crafted to become an effective support to the production cycle of the operation.
Common Attendance Policies
Some of the most commonly-used employee attendance policies for hourly workers cover the following attendance issues:
- Absenteeism: Some employees consistently miss work, often for sick days that are not supported by a physician’s note. While you don’t want sick employees spreading an illness, some workers take advantage of a sick day policy by claiming to be ill and take unscheduled days off for other reasons.
- Tardiness: Company managers and owners may run into issues with employees who cannot arrive on time, take longer breaks than they should, or consistently leave early – a frequent problem on Fridays.
As a company owner or manager, you don’t want to establish a heavily-policed work environment where employees feel obligated to arrive to work when they are genuinely ill. In fact, the problem more typically is associated with an employee who takes advantage of the attendance policy by skipping a workday, impacting production and overloading other employees who must pick up the slack.
Monitoring attendance involves putting a procedure in place – with as many automated features as possible – to identify workers who are consistently late, make a habit of leaving early, often call in sick, or otherwise violate company attendance policies.
Establishing a Positive Tone in an Attendance Policy for Hourly Workers
With employees filing claims against employers in ever-rising numbers, you want to craft an attendance policy that has built-in flexibility to avoid losing valued team members who are dealing with a genuine life issue. In crafting a truly workable attendance policy, it is advised that you avoid a strictly punishment-based system and create an incentive-based policy to reward employees who maintain a good attendance record.
Point System Attendance Policies
Many attendance policies involve the use of a point system in which employees accrue points on a yearly basis for different types of violations. Your policy must clearly lay out the rules for employees who:
- Leave work early
- Are late for work
- Take unexcused absences
- No call or no-show
Attendance Point System Policy Sample
With an attendance point system policy, the purpose is for employees to provide notice of absences. Employees receive points for each absence that is not exempt under law. For example, employees may receive 1 point for tardiness of less than 10 minutes and 3 points being late 15 minutes to 2 hours, and 5 points for a no-show absence. Different amounts of points can result in disciplinary action, including termination. Points usually reset annually.
Attendance Bonuses: Strategies for Success
Employees appreciate bonuses above other perks offered by employers. For employees who have good attendance records, a weekly, monthly, or quarterly bonus can be effective. An annual bonus, on top of other bonuses, adds to the incentive. Ensure the bonus amounts are promoted internally in emails and briefings. Work out a sample memo to employees on attendance policies, and vet the memo through legal to ensure it clearly covers all points in any updated policy.
Prior to issuing a bonus policy, many business owners have found surveying employees in advance will make a bonus-based strategy even more effective, as your employees feel that they are active participants in the policy issued. Establishing an inclusive culture has other benefits, particularly in increased production, as employees feel they are valued, rather than expendable.
Disciplinary Actions for Hourly Employees
HR will be faced with the problem of dealing with employees who continually violate the attendance policy of the organization. A point-based system that deducts pay for unscheduled absences from work that fail to meet the criteria as laid out in company policy can be the simplest way to address those issues.
Many employers of hourly employees have moved to a PTO system rather than numbers of approved sick days per year. This system allows the employee to accrue paid time off over the year which can be used for any activity, including sick days. PTO policies must be measured against state and federal employment law prior to issuance.
A good attendance policy can improve overall productivity and company goals. However, any good attendance policy must be detailed and properly enforced. In general, a good attendance policy must account for:
Company Attendance Policy: Knowing What to Include
- Attendance and punctuality
- Disciplinary action
- No-Call / No-Shows
- Chronic absences and tardiness
As with any policy, clear guidelines and exceptions should also be set in compliance with laws such as FMLA, ADA, or participating in military or jury duty.
Using EPAY Employee Attendance Management Systems to Administer Attendance Policies
HR is tasked with drafting workable attendance policies, along with administering and tracking employees throughout the year. A fully automated attendance management system for employee tracking greatly simplifies HR duties by managing issues such as docking pay or other disciplinary actions like issuing written warnings, suspensions, or termination notices. This allows HR personnel to focus on tasks of far greater benefit to the company overall. EPAY Systems offers one of the most advanced, customizable, integrated HR systems to fully streamline the multitude of tasks associated with employee attendance tracking, along with a full scope of human capital management issues.