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It’s one of the oldest cliches in the book, but a great workforce is truly a company’s greatest asset. Sadly, it doesn’t matter how skilled your employees are if they never turn up for work. Therefore, learning to improve employee attendance should be a priority for all company owners.

It is an area of business where all companies can succeed regardless of size or background. Here are seven ways you can improve employee attendance to serve the best interests of employers and employees alike.

#1. Make Employees Aware of Expectations

You cannot expect a team of employees to deliver the desired results if you have not informed them of the expectations. Putting a clear and concise attendance policy in place will provide guidance that staff members can revisit while simultaneously serving as a document you can recall when action needs to be taken against an employee who violates the rules you’ve set.

The expectations can extend to the use of annual leave. Whether asking employees to spread their annual leave out through the four quarters of the fiscal year or booking in a certain percentage of their dates by a particular deadline, it can be a great way to help workers avoid burnout – which could lead to unexpected days off.

#2. Make Employees Aware of the Consequences

When establishing your approach to improving employee attendance, you must look to do it in a way that employees appreciate and understand rather than a way where employees feel like they’re being punished for genuine sickness. After all, reports show that 76% of millennials say they would leave a job if they didn’t feel appreciated. However, you must ensure that they know the consequences that follow repeated absence and lateness.

It’s not about striking fear into your employees. Instead, it focuses on creating a fair environment for all. Moreover, some workers are just beyond saving. When consequences are clearly stated, they’ll either have to buck up their ideas or face losing their jobs. Either way, it’s better than wasting your time and energy on lost causes.

#3. Create an Enjoyable Workplace and Company Culture

When your attention is focused on the 99% of employees who need a little added motivation, it becomes clear that building a happier working environment is crucial. Aside from improving employee attendance, it yields a 13% increase in productivity, which will naturally go a long way to boosting your business performance levels. Better still, the happy and present workers will influence their colleagues.

There are many ways to create a more enjoyable workplace, such as adding a better break room or coffee machines. Crucially, though, you’ll want to promote clear communication and fairness across all teams. This should extend to issues like workplace bullying, as this can be an underlying reason for an employee’s absence,

Employee Attendance#4. Actively Incentivise Workers to Maintain 100% Attendance

A positive working environment should get workers excited about work. However, little motivational boosts that reward 100% attendance should discourage them from pulling a random sickie. Studies show that almost 80% of workers pull sickies each year, even though over half feel guilty about doing it. Providing an extra incentive for them to avoid taking random days off without a valid reason could be the key to boosting attendance.

A long list of incentive schemes could be introduced. Some of the most effective include monthly raffles, a paid work lunch, and fun days. They can be offered to each employee with 100% attendance and zero lateness. Vouchers or the opportunity to leave work an hour early. This can be particularly effective at reducing sickies at the end of a month.

#5. Show Empathy Towards Genuine Absences

Research shows that the average UK worker takes 5.8 sick days per year. Some are considered sickies or taken because employees can’t be bothered, while others are for minor sickness when they could probably make it in with a little motivation. However, all employers must recognise that there are valid reasons for absences. It would be best to never make employees feel guilty or punished for these, as it will hit their morale.

It is shown that women, on average, need to take more genuine absences each year. However, male workers may still need to take days off due to issues out of their control. As well as genuine illness, it can include looking after children and loved ones. Accepting this is vital. The blow can often be softened by using remote working for added flexibility.

#6. Empower Your Senior Staff Members

No matter how hard you try, it will be impossible for you to focus on ways to improve employee attendance without distracting yourself from other assignments. Given that absences cost the UK economy £77.5bn per year, you must find a winning solution. Team leaders and senior staff members can often provide the key by managing the situation on your behalf. For starters, they’ll separate problematic employees from genuine cases.

Team leaders can provide little motivational boosts throughout the day or give pep talks to workers that need it. Alternatively, they can launch initiatives like one-on-one coffee meetings to discuss employee issues and learn how the company can improve. This info can be relaid to you. When combined with mental health first aid, success will follow.

#7. Review Situations Upon an Employee’s Return

Communication is the key to overcoming many business problems and can certainly help you improve employee attendance. Stress, depression, or anxiety account for 51% of all work-related ill health cases, while many other possible underlying reasons are considered. Sadly, you’ll never get to the bottom of this if you don’t give employees a chance to communicate these issues. A review upon their review is key.

It doesn’t have to be overly formal and shouldn’t feel like a punishment. Instead, it is an opportunity to understand the employer-employee dynamic further. For even greater results, you can introduce a dedicated absence management system to streamline the process in a way that suits workers as well as the company. The results will be incredible.