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Attendance issues...

Discussion in 'Business Forum' started by agrech, Sep 5, 2012.

  1. agrech


    Mar 27, 2012
    As a manager of roughly 35 hourly employees, how does one combat attendance issues? My office is SUPPOSE to have around 80 employees at any given time. But due to the local job market and what not, we can't hire anyone for crap. Sp I constantly have less than half of what I need, in terms of employees.

    So just firing them for not showing isn't really an option. But I can't allow them to continue to get away with it, or jobs will never get completed.

  2. UtahIrishman

    UtahIrishman BLR Silver Member

    Nov 11, 2001
    You should have a set of Standard Operating Procedures that all employees know that shows what the consequences of tardiness are, up to and including being fired.

    Most places I've worked it starts with a verbal warning, then a written warning explaining what the consequences of their being late again are. If they are late again, that consequence is followed through on. The consequence can be a suspension without pay for X number of days, up to and including losing their job.

    You say you can't fire them, but if they are constantly late and disrupting production because of it they may not be worth keeping anyways.

    There are online resources for HR issues like this as well. A Google search should turn up some boiler-plate scripts to help you out.

    Good Luck

  3. JimBianchi

    JimBianchi Da Da CLM

    Feb 15, 2006
    Las Vegas
    In my limited experience managing people in both the military and civilian world, 10% are worthless, 10% are exceptional, 80% just do what it takes to draw a paycheck.

    When you are under-staffed those numbers can get badly skewed, forcing you to keep the dead weight around too long.

    Running my business at full speed a few years ago I ran into your issue head first.

    A business aquatints of mine me gave some great advise, offer more money to attract better employees. (but screen the applicants better.)

    Word spread quickly that I paid photographers and assistance's more than anyone else in Vegas. I still get calls occasionally from former assistance's offering to help out. (If I had the work I would hire)

    I had great success with that strategy and will use it again when business improves in the future.
  4. Louisville Glocker

    Louisville Glocker Urban Redneck

    Dec 17, 2010
    Louisville, KY
    Consequences is the one word solution.

    I've run multiple businesses, and I've fired people for "attendance" issues. Tardy is not as bad as a no show. No call, no show, is grounds for termination in my book.

    It really depends on your biz. Coffee shop? Restaurant? Call center? IT company?

    But in all cases, you need to have FIRM consequences for being late or not showing up. Either they get lower preference in shifts, worse work to do, write ups that will delay promotion, or some kind of SOMETHING (anything), that will be an incentive for them to get to work.

    If you can't hire people in today's economy, you're not paying enough. Maybe they know it and are going elsewhere....Tough to really comment without knowing your type of business....details?
  5. agrech


    Mar 27, 2012
    Yeah and unfortunately the pay isn't determined by me. And HR does have a no show policy that our new hires read and sign. And yeah, if hiring replacements wasn't such a pain I'd be more inclined to stick with it. But with the number of people I have and the work load I'm expected to cover, too many more termed people will mean lost business. And they know it. From the sounds of it though, I'm just going to have to keep canning them.

    I'm actually not allowed to say where I work, I don't know why. But I'm sure you'd know us if I could.
  6. GlockN


    Apr 15, 2011

    Sounds like more training is necessary for the manager and the subordinates.
  7. I think I need to move to SD.

    I have worked with so many HR depts over the years... HR should be reinterpreted as the repository for the Horrifically Redundant. They dictate the pay raises, but leave no room for rewarding excellent workers. So, the younger generation look around an see that the hard workers get paid the same as the lazy... answer, be lazy.

    I feel for ya.

    1) You could offer the whole team a pizza lunch for meeting higher monthly production targets.

    2) Out of your own pocket, offer bonuses to those who have exceeded expectations.
    3) Offer the hard workers the option to go home early on Fridays, say half day, with pay for completing all assignments early. (MAKE SURE they are completed to spec) The lazy will find ways to beat the system.

    Just a few suggestions anyway. Good Luck.
  8. JimP


    Mar 20, 2007
    Get a copy of THE ENERGY BUS. Read, apply, repeat as necessary. Good book that all managers should read.
  9. I have worked under number of "point" systems which allows you to document employee attendance. This is a safety net to prevent someone saying they got fired for missing X amount of time while someone else missed twice as much and is still working.

    Last one, many years ago, was 7 frequencies, 50 hours. Example: Taking a day off sick was one frequency and 8 hours. Taking 3 consecutive days off was one frequency and twenty-four hours. Leaving two hours early was one frequency and 2 hours.

    Frequencies and hours came off a year after earning them.

    Reaching 32 hours OR 4 frequencies was verbal warning. 40 hours OR 5 frequencies was written warning. 48 hours OR 6 frequencies was 3 days off without pay. 50 hours OR 6 frequencies was termination.

    Seemed a little strict, but it worked.

    All the Best,
    D. White
  10. DustyJacket

    DustyJacket Directiv 10-289

    Oct 16, 2008
    Missouri, East of KC
    One thing is performance bonuses for exceeding a certain number of units per week, but in your case it could be for exceeding a certain number of hours per week/month.

    My wife does medical transcription. The offshoring of these jobs has dropped the rate inside the USA by 40%. The get paid an extra 1/2 cent per line, if they exceed 1,200 lines a day. That is there performance bonus.

    So, you could offer a perfomance bonus when their weekly or monthly hours exceed some number. If they exceed that number you can pay them an extra 50-cents an hour. Maybe even a whole dollar.
  11. This is very sad, but true. And I'll admit, I'm even guilty of it. I'm a field tech for structure cabling.

    The slow, lazy, non quality techs make the same per paycheck as me. But being a quality, fast tech I get the jobs that are more challenging, and have to do more jobs because i'm fast at what I do. Because of this I've slowly gone downhill over the past year, I mean it feels like I'm being punished for being a good tech.
  12. glock_collector


    Dec 23, 2011
    My company, my rule. I call it the 15 min rule. You show up over 15 min late, go home and try er again tomorrow...Two in a row and the 3rd day you are told to hit the road. I weed out the slackers easily and show everyone else that being on my radar is poor for your career.
  13. sonoma


    Jan 23, 2008
    No show and no call is immediate termination.If the person is late more than twice in one month they are gone.A lady i know called in 30 times this year before getting fired.She never scheduled a day off,just called in each time.The company put up with it because she was doing the boss's work when she was there.
  14. Contact


    May 4, 2006
    The company I work for has a standard attendance policy. The problem is not with the policy itself, but with the enforcement from the management.

    Too often, our management wants to use attendance as a way of coaching bad employees out of the company, but they end up jamming themselves up because they don't enforce the policy across the board and end up with a human resources issue of unfair treatment. They want to write up Billy every time he's three minutes late because he also happens to be a lazy employee (which, incidentally, also happens to be the core reason you're actually performance managing him, right? ;) ), but the cute girl Julie comes in late, winks, smiles and goes on about her business without so much as a talking to.

    My advice is to start enforcing the policy you have in place, but be willing to enforce it across the board and lose a few employees. I will caution you though, often the employee that you have a good relationship with will think that the new enforcement won't apply to them because of the good relationship they have with you. It may be challenging to write up/suspend/fire that person, but if they won't give you the respect of showing up to work on time, how good of an employee are they for you, really?

    Also, your view of the pay issue is blurred in my opinion, your mindset is that the lazy people are getting paid the same as the productive employees so why perform? My answer to that would be, How did the team get the impression that you will tolerate people being late time and time again with no reprimands? Are the inmates running the asylum, or are you the one in charge?

    I'm not sure what type of business you're running, but I'm sure your employees are not volunteers, and I am sure they are being paid to show up to work, and do a job. The people above you may dictate the pay, but you do have the ability to dictate who gets to keep their job or not, and unless you're running a soup kitchen, your employees are being paid, so when they come in late, they're not wasting their time, they're wasting your time.
  15. smokin762


    Apr 19, 2009
    Where I work, the company uses a point system. The only problem is they only enforce it when things are slow. The rest of the time, they look the other way. Employee’s noticed this and took advantage of it.

    Not long ago, my employer changed the attendance policy. Now, they can discipline an employee for past offenses up to six months in the rear. Employees have also noticed actions are only taken when other events happen. It’s kind of like an add on for the offense.

    Recently, my employer fired one of my coworkers. This employee was always late and took to many breaks and stayed in the restroom for an obnoxious amount of time. The rest of us suspected he was sleeping. While he was on his second shift rotation, he would sit in his car and listen to sports events while his machine would stop running. His production was very poor.

    The final nail in the coffin was a supervisor passed him up in the opposite direction on the way to work. This employee was on the clock, while driving up to the local Doughnut shop to make a food and coffee run.

    When they walked him out the door, he didn’t see anything he had done wrong. :upeyes:
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2012
  16. tim12232

    tim12232 Pistolero

    Aug 15, 2011
    What type of business is it?
  17. ArmoryDoc


    May 14, 2006
    If you and the company do not have firm, unambiguous expectations for attendance, and aren't consistent with enforcement, you will continue to have attendance problems. If they know there are no consequences, who blames them for pushing the line ?

    I've been in private business and management for the majority of my working life. I've seen both sides. The clear, firmly established policies work. Anything less is failure. Yes, you may lose some folks up front, but the ones you lose weren't the ones you want to keep anyway. When the attrition settles out, you'll have good employees that value their jobs. And if it's a good company to work for anyway, you'll have very little attrition.

    There really isn't another answer to your issue.
  18. agrech


    Mar 27, 2012
    Well turns out it's not going to be my problem anymore.

    After doing my job for a year (quite well imho) with no official training. After my boss quit, and me doing his job for 3 weeks (again with no training) while a replacement was found (I applied). And after doing my best to train my new boss (I was asked to train my superior for the job I was "not qualified" to do).

    I got an awesome .03 raise. Based on my normal 65-80 Hour Weeks.

    So... I'm resigning and quitting a company that I've worked for, for almost 10 years. Thank you all for your help. And maybe in the future, I'll have the chance to actually apply some of the things I've learned here.

    Thanks again.
  19. tim12232

    tim12232 Pistolero

    Aug 15, 2011
    Sorry to hear, but Im glad your doing something about it! I was out of work for a little over a year, and the only thing I have noticed that worked for me was talking about work ethic, it took me farther than my resume alone did..."and I would say my resume is quite good"
    Good luck and I hope you find a place that values ethics and its people!
  20. duncan

    duncan Millennium Member Lifetime Member

    Feb 15, 1999
    In your situation, tell upper management to pony up for reinforcing good behavior. Just had an hourly employee complain about not getting a free pizza on the company once in a blue moon.

    As an in-house employment law attorney has been counseling manager for 20 years, coming down hard only works when pay is good and good employers are hard to come by. If you can't play the "you can be replaced" card, being nice is your only option.

    NOW WHAT I'VE DONE dealing with long term city government union employees. Nothing gets performance popping than a good ole fashioned public hanging for the worst of the worst. Document their outrageous attendance and fire them. Does tighten up the ship. THEN give out lollipops to the team to let them know the door swings both ways.