An HR manager is standing at a white board next to a table of four employees going over a new employee attendance improvement plan.
Aug 26, 2022   |   By TeamSense

How To Make an Employee Attendance Improvement Plan

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.

So, you’ve figured out you need an employee attendance improvement plan for your employees who are absent (a lot). But how do you create one? Excellent question. Between hitting on all the important details and still wanting to speak from a genuine place, it can be difficult to know if you’ve covered everything in the right way. The good news is that you’ve come to the right place. Let’s walk through everything you need to know about making your own employee attendance improvement plan for your team.

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 absenteeism (AKA the many times someone hasn’t shown up to work or came in really late).

Most of the time, an employee attendance improvement plan happens after the manager has already met with the employee once. But they may want to have another conversation to discuss the employee attendance improvement plan or hand deliver the plan document to the employee.

How Do I Store The Employee Attendance Improvement Plan?

You can keep this improvement plan as a printed document or an electronic PDF—we suggest doing both to cover all your bases. That way, you can hang onto an electronic copy and give your employee a printed document to look over. Just be sure each of you has a copy of the attendance improvement plan.

4 Things to Include in Your Employee Attendance Improvement Plan Document

Figuring out what to put in your employee attendance improvement plan can be tricky if you don’t know where to start. You can use this employee attendance improvement plan example to frame up your own employee attendance improvement plan template (or check out this template for inspiration). Here are four things you should be sure to include in your plan document.

  1. List the dates and times the employee broke your company attendance policy.
  2. Cover how the team member’s excessive absenteeism and late arrivals have negatively impacted the rest of the team and company. 
  3. Define your expectations when it comes to their shift hours (Example: What time are they scheduled to clock in for the day?)
  4. State the consequences of excessive absenteeism and arriving late. Explain what will happen if these things continue and aren't fixed.

Of course, there might be more details you want to cover for your specific situation. Use these four essentials to help you get the ball rolling. As you go along, you might find you’d like to include other details to help craft your own employee attendance improvement plan that feels unique to your company.

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How to Create an Employee Attendance Improvement Plan

Your company might have a standard performance improvement plan that they follow to a T, and that’s perfectly fine. Just make sure that the plan isn’t too generic, fits what you’re looking for, and is a smart action plan for attendance.

If you find that your company's performance improvement plan isn't what you're looking for, or you just want to create your own, go for it! Here are some things to make sure you cover as you create your attendance goals for employees.

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 the board 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 absence management solution through text can make your life a whole lot easier.

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.

 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!

Help Your Hourly Employees Thrive

TeamSense empowers your team through engagement, keeps everyone in the loop with attendance, and saves you time (and dollar signs) while boosting productivity along the way.

Nope, you don’t have to have the latest tech to get it done. All you need is text.


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