runninglateAre your employees often late, or have had a few too many absences? Maybe it’s because you haven’t clearly defined what’s acceptable and what’s not. It’s up to management to set clear attendance expectations and take action when employees push the boundaries.

Here are some ways you can clearly define the dos and don’ts of your attendance policy, so that everyone in the company is on the same page.

1.  Set clear expectations.

If you’re OK with people leaving the office when their work for the day is done, say so. However, if your staff needs to be in the office for a certain length of time each day, then you’ll need to set specific work hours and inform your entire workforce.  If you want to give your employees some leeway, then set clear definitions on what is considered “late.”

2.  Define paid vs. unpaid time off.

If your company offers employee paid sick or vacation days, explain your policy for requesting time off, including any deadlines or restrictions.  You should also define the terms and conditions for paid holidays.

3.  Create a disciplinary policy, and stick to it.

Your policy should be documented in your employee handbook, so that every employee is fully aware of the rules. In addition to documenting the policy, be sure to explain disciplinary procedures when employees violate the policy.  After your employees have received the policy, ask them to sign an acknowledgment document indicating that they read and understood the policies.

4.  Get your employees on board.

Your employees will be less likely to feel singled out and resent your attendance policy if it’s consistent company-wide.  Take the time to talk to your employees about the importance of an attendance policy. Explaining how their absence affects productivity and objectives can help them understand where you’re coming from.

5.  Walk the walk.

If you’re late every day, leave early once or twice a week and miss work regularly, you’re giving unspoken permission to your staff to do the same. Not acceptable? Then it’s time you consider creating a written time and attendance policy that all employees-including management-are expected to adhere to.

Tracking employee attendance is important to your business. A well-developed time and attendance policy can help you get back to the business of business, instead of constantly addressing issues of tardiness and absenteeism.