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Attendance and Punctuality Cost Companies Big Money
If you’ve ever simply observed people at work, you’ll find that many often arrive late or miss work completely for days. Maybe we can make a connection in our reasoning that all those people showing up 10 minutes late can be a big loss of revenue for the business. The problem is how do you control attendance issues while treating everyone fairly?
A CHC study on unexcused absenteeism indicates that 83% of employers believe that unexcused absenteeism will continue to increase. The problem is that absenteeism costs have increased and are now around $800 per employee per year. It doesn’t seem like much, but when that cost is multiplied by 10 or 20 employees, the numbers speak for themselves.
Absenteeism and punctuality policies
Having an absenteeism and punctuality policy is important for any business with employees. These policies help keep records of missed work hours, encourage employees to report to work, and provide grounds for termination when an employee fails to meet the obligation of their working conditions. The right type of policy can save your business tons of money over the years.
The first thing an owner must determine is the status of his employees. Salaried and professional employees are generally considered “exempt” while hourly workers are “non-exempt”. Exempt means that employees are not based on their working time but on the function of their job. They can work longer hours without paying overtime. Non-exempt employees are paid for every minute spent on the job and are entitled to overtime pay.
Hourly or non-exempt workers can have their wages reduced for each time they miss work while salaried or other workers cannot. For example, if a salaried worker is absent 4 hours a day but works part of that day, his salary cannot be affected. The only time a salaried worker can have their wages adjusted is when they are on leave or when an entire day is missed for personal reasons. Punishing the delay of an employee by a salary adjustment runs the risk of giving him the right to overtime.
Attendance policies vary from company to company and state to state. However, the best attendance policies usually have a progressive component. For example, verbal warning, written warning, suspension and termination would be part of a progressive discipline policy. The other method that could be used is the point system. As the worker receives points for his attendance, he incurs increased discipline. Once it has reached the threshold, it will be terminated.
Using a progressive absenteeism policy ensures that all workers are treated fairly. They are warned each time they are disciplined and cannot claim ignorance. Additionally, the documentation provided at each level of discipline lends an appearance of professionalism on the part of the organization and a sense of fairness to the employee.
Employees may be subject to the same progressive attendance regime as an hourly employee. The difference is that they cannot have their wages deducted. Once must also consider that salaried workers should receive notes to file instead of employee counseling (discipline) reports so that their “at will” status is not at risk.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, a total of 2.8 million workdays per year are lost due to illness or injury. Assuming the average worker earned around 40,000 per year, we would add 35% to bring the benefits to a total compensation cost of 54,000 per year per employee. If we divide these 54,000 by 2080 worked in a year, we arrive at a labor cost of $25.96/hour. The absence of a single employee for a day would cost the average business approximately $207.68 per day. So if you have 10 absences per year, your cost would be around $2,000. This figure does not include the cost of actual profit that you would have lost due to your products or services not being finished.
Methods of reducing absenteeism
1.) No-Fault Attendance Policy
2.) Progressive Discipline
3.) Incentives for good attendance.
4.) Make the workplace more fun.
5.) Pre-employment physicals and drug tests.
6.) Conduct employment background investigations before hiring.
7.) Value the presence and contribution of every worker.
8.) Attendance should be included as one of the criteria for raises/promotions.
9.) Request medical documentation for all unexcused absences.
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