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Jul 06, 2023

How To Make an Employee Attendance Improvement Plan

Explore Topic: Absence Management

Figuring out what to put in your employee attendance improvement plan can be tricky if you don’t know where to start. An attendance improvement plan can help set your employees up to win at work and reduce absenteeism across the team.

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So, it's become clear: an employee attendance improvement plan isn't just a good idea; it's a necessity for your team. But where do you start with creating one? Navigating the nuances of crafting an attendance improvement plan - striking the right balance between critical details and genuine dialogue - can seem daunting. This guide will be your companion, walking you through every step in designing an effective attendance improvement plan. Let's dive in and explore how we can turn those frequent absences into consistent attendance together.

What is an Employee Attendance Improvement Plan?

An employee attendance improvement plan is an official document that usually comes from a supervisor or manager to address an employee’s excessive or chronic absenteeism.

Simply put, an Employee Attendance Improvement Plan is your game plan, your strategy for better attendance, that you share with a team member. It's a well-thought-out action plan for nudging those frequent absentees in your team to show up more consistently and help keep your operations running smoothly.

In essence, it's a proactive and structured approach to address frequent and unplanned absences. But it's not just about having strict rules and consequences. A great plan also includes open communication, clear guidelines, and a better understanding of individual employee needs.

It's about creating a work environment where everyone understands the importance of regular attendance and how their absences can impact the team and company's overall performance. With a well-crafted Employee Attendance Improvement Plan, you're not just boosting attendance; you're also fostering a more engaged and responsible team.

Understanding the impact of poor attendance

Poor attendance. Two words that can send shivers down a manager's spine. It's like that mysterious knock in your car's engine — ignore it, and it's likely to lead to bigger issues down the line. So, let's take a closer look at why we should tackle poor- attendance problems head-on.

First up, the not-so-fun fact: habitual or excessive absenteeism can put a serious dent in your business operations. Think about it. A team member doesn't show up for work, and their tasks are left hanging. Deadlines are missed, clients are kept waiting, and projects get delayed. It's like a domino effect, and the end result? A noticeable hit on your bottom line.  Frequent call-offs or no call, no shows can slow down or stop a production line..

But it's not just about missed work. Poor attendance can also shake up team dynamics. When a team member frequently doesn't show up, others have to step in to pick up the slack. Over time, this can breed resentment, lower morale, and cause team productivity to take a nosedive.

And, let's not forget the impact on the absentee themselves. Regularly missing work can lead to them feeling disconnected from the team, out of the loop on projects, and can stifle their career progression.

Understanding the potential fallout of poor attendance is crucial. It's not about playing hardball, but recognizing that regular attendance plays a vital role in the health of your team and business. And that, my friends, is where a well-crafted Employee Attendance Improvement Plan steps in to save the day!


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Why an Attendance Improvement Plan is Your Business's Best Friend

  1. Clears the Fog: Sets out clear expectations about attendance, reporting absences, and the consequences of frequent no-shows.
  2. Opens Dialogue: Encourages open communication between employees and management, providing a space to discuss and address attendance issues.
  3. Promotes Accountability: By understanding the impact of their attendance on the business, employees become more responsible and mindful of their actions.
  4. Nurtures a Positive Environment: Recognizing and rewarding good attendance can boost morale and reinforce a positive shift in behavior.
  5. Fosters Mutual Respect: Balancing the company's needs with employee circumstances encourages a culture of understanding and respect.

In essence, an Attendance Improvement Plan is more than just a set of rules – it's a tool for creating a more engaged and accountable team. Ready to dive in and create your own? Let's go!

4 Things to Make Sure You Include In The Improvement Plan Document

When writing your document or creating your own template, it is important to include basic information below; we've outlined four key components of a standard plan. You can use the examples below to frame up your own employee attendance improvement plan (or check out this template for inspiration).

  1. Documented Instances: Keep track of the dates and times your employee didn't adhere to the company attendance policy. Concrete examples always help.
  2. Impact Analysis: Illustrate how frequent tardiness or absences have affected the team and business operations. The goal isn't to blame, but to show the ripple effect of their actions.
  3. Clear Expectations: Establish a clear understanding of shift hours. When exactly should they clock in each day?
  4. Outlined Consequences: Explicitly state the repercussions for frequent absenteeism and tardiness. What could potentially happen if things don't change.

These elements are just a starting point. Depending on your specific needs, you might want to add more details. But remember, the goal of your employee attendance improvement plan is to craft a framework that resonates with your company's unique culture and operational needs.

How to Create an Employee Attendance Improvement Plan

Taking the plunge into creating an Employee Attendance Improvement Plan might seem intimidating. But don't fret - it's a manageable process. Let's break it down into actionable steps to help you build a robust plan. Follow along, and you'll have a game-changing strategy in no time!

Go Over Your Attendance Policy

Let’s be clear—every company should have an attendance policy. It’s pretty much an industry standard when it comes to running a business. You need one so that employees (and managers) can be held accountable. If you don’t have an attendance policy in place, your employees won’t know that excessive absenteeism is a problem. That’s why it’s worth taking some time to sit down and think through exactly what is in your attendance policy.

Ideally, you’ve already got an attendance policy in place and just need to talk through it again with your employee. Make sure they’re aware of the policy and answer any questions they might have about it.

Set Expectations

Right from the start, you want to make sure your expectations of the employee are clearly known. The employee has an issue with absenteeism, and you need them to make a change in order to stay employed at your company. And if these changes aren’t seen and expectations aren’t met, clearly express what the consequences would be.

Be Clear

Truth be told, this whole thing might feel like an awkward conversation to have. And that’s normal. But you’re going to have to lean into that uncomfortable feeling and have clear communication here. Getting feedback from managers can make a difference in how engaged an employee is. Gallup found that employees who get meaningful feedback are four times more likely to be engaged.1

Try to be as specific and detailed as you can be. Remember, you want to help your employees make positive changes to improve their attendance, which requires being a straight talker.

This is where having a solid employee attendance improvement plan template will come in handy. Having something jotted down in black and white (either paper or electronic PDF) will make sure that everything is documented clearly.

Be Consistent

No matter what steps you decide to take in the employee attendance improvement plan—be consistent. Do what you say you’re going to do. If you don’t follow through, it can open up a real can of worms here—especially if you dish out the consequences to one employee but then let another employee slide. Make sure you’re being consistent across your team and treating everyone the same.

Be Sincere

It’s important to keep open lines of communication with your team members—even when you have to correct their actions. Don’t forget to genuinely express your desire that they change their absent habits and perform a complete 180-degree change. You’re rooting for them! Be sure they know that you want things to change and believe they can.

Show the employee that you want to aid them in fixing their absence issues. You can even offer to help them with finding the resources they may need to make the change (like secure transportation, or health care options).


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Remind Them How To Report an Absence

We live in a world where employees get sick, take vacation, and miss work—that’s okay. But remind your employees that they need to communicate with you when they need to take time off or have an unplanned absence. Give them a refresher on the process and who they need to notify.

It’s no secret that absence management can be tricky. If your attendance management process needs an upgrade, learn how our call-off solution through text can make your life a whole lot easier. And remember, it’s in your interest to make it easier to call-off. When you help employees avoid the hold time, inconvenience or discomfort of talking to their manager, they’re more likely to follow the process, which reduces no call, no shows.

Follow Up

Be sure to set time aside to revisit the attendance improvement plan with your employee. Be specific and set markers to take a look at the situation again. For example, maybe you want to regroup and talk again in 30 days, maybe just once a quarter. Whatever time you decide on, make sure you and your employee are on the same page.

Track Progress

Everyone wants to know they’ve made progress. Make sure you’ve set a path to be able to track progress so your employee can see where they’ve knocked it out of the park and where they still need improvement.

When you meet up to address the attendance improvement plan again, make sure you have these tangible markers to discuss the awesome growth or lack of progress you’ve seen.  If you're not seeing the expected results, you may consider an automated call out line.

 Make It Easy to Track and Report Absences

If you’re sick of wasting time following up on every employee absence and tracking down every no-show—there’s a better way. It’s time to set your employees up for success with attendance management through text. It’s as simple as it sounds too. Employees text in a phrase like “ABSENT” to let you know they’ll be out for the day, and the message is delivered instantly to whoever needs to be in the loop.

If you make it easy for your employees to let you know they’re running late or going to be out for the day, you’ll be less likely to have to give them an employee attendance improvement plan to follow. Your employees will be able to notify you of their attendance status for the day, and you’ll get real-time updates to easily make shift changes and adjustments. That’s living the dream right there! 


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