Photo of workers to illustrate story about employee attendance.

Employee attendance is crucial to any operation. Employees that are consistently absent from work can negatively impact your business’s daily rhythm and productivity. While taking disciplinary action is sometimes necessary, using rewards to encourage attendance can help create a positive work culture where showing up for work is the norm, rather than the exception.

One way to encourage staff attendance is by making sure your company’s absentee policy is easily accessible and clear to all employees. And while this may help keep your habitually absent employees in line, it doesn’t recognize staff that’s dependable day in and day out.

Incentives are a great way to keep your star employees, and those who are a little less motivated, showing up for work. So here are two ways to incentivize positive behavior when it comes to employee attendance.

Be Generous With Time Off

Offering more time off might seem counter-intuitive, but if employees are able to schedule time off needed without penalty, they may be less likely to call in sick. This allows your management to plan accordingly and cover shift vacancies with limited workflow disruption.

As well, let sick days and paid time off (PTO) carry over, so employees don’t feel panicky about using their accrued time as the end of the year nears. And when it’s not your employee that’s sick, having a work-from-home policy can allow employees to work from home if they need to take care of a sick family member. An at-home work option may also come in handy when staff encounter other conflicts, such as transportation or weather problems.

Offer a Points System to Reward Employee Attendance

If you feel like your employees are skipping out on work for non-legitimate reasons, try instituting a point system that rewards employee attendance. The points could be exchanged for gift cards, PTO, or end-of-year bonuses. Not only will a point system encourage attendance, but it’s also an opportunity to reward your most committed workers.

Address Understaffing to Prevent Burn Out

Sometimes your staff’s absenteeism is caused by hardships that are out of their control. Situations that involve childcare or personal medical issues may make it impossible, even in the best work culture, for an employee to have consistent attendance. If you repeatedly find your business in this situation, it may be time to add additional staff.

Consider hiring full-time, part-time, or as-needed staff. This way, your management can support the needs of current staff while maintaining your company’s goals and deadlines. Ensuring your business has sufficient staffing also can help relieve excessive workload from current staff that could cause in burnout and lead to unplanned time off.

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