Employee attendance issues have plagued the physical security industry for YEARS.
CareerBuilder.com says the number of employees calling in sick (when they aren't) rose from 35% in 2016 to 40% in 2017. If one or more of your officers is consistently late or calls off from work, this can affect your bottom line as well as the morale of the whole operation.
It's not reasonable to expect perfect attendance from personnel; however, chronic call offs and tardiness should be addressed quickly.
Here are eight proven strategies for reducing call-offs, no-shows, and attendance issues for your guards:
#1 Keep Detailed Records
Detailed record keeping for employee performance is critical. And in most states, required. Without documentation, it can be difficult to identify and address these issues.
A basic spreadsheet for tracking call offs and tardiness can be easily referenced if a problem is suspected.
Take Action: Setting some time aside each week for working on attendance records will save you time and frustration in the long run.
#2 Deal With Issues Promptly
Avoid falling behind schedule and missing deadlines when a team member fails to do their part. If you notice an employee is regularly calling off work due to sickness or an emergency during the busiest times, they may be abusing the system.
Whether you confront an employee informally or during a review, It’s best to deal with attendance problems quickly. Even if the employee is top-notch at other responsibilities but has the bad habit of consistently arriving late to work, this is a problem that should be resolved.
Take Action: A clear employee policy on tardiness & "no-show" absenteeism is 100% necessary so that everyone knows what is expected and the outcome if these rules are not followed.
The next five strategies are preventative measures that will help prevent future call-offs from happening.
#3 Recognize Good Performance
Incentivize your employees by rewarding and recognizing good performance. Consider demonstrating how much you value attendance and punctuality by offering a reward such as a plaque or paid time off.
A gift card for perfect attendance during a set amount of time is another simple but effective option. Or use peer pressure to your advantage by offering a group reward for everyone’s punctuality for a set number of days.
Take Action: You might be surprised how much a simple acknowledgment or reward can boost morale and initiative.
#4 Make Up Time
To avert disciplinary action, provide employees with the opportunity to make up missed time. You'll find that many of your officers are more than willing to make up time for absent shifts to make up for a potential loss in pay.
#5 Be a Good Example
If managers and supervisors are routinely late, this sets the tone for the whole company. When those in leadership positions are punctual and seldom call off from work, employees will notice their work ethic and attempt to follow suit.
Take Action: Set the tone for the behavior you expect from employees.
#6 Set the Ground Rules
Your mom knew what she was doing when she let you know how disappointed she was in your bad behavior. When a team member’s attendance becomes less than ideal, express your disappointment and explain how not adhering to the schedule affects the whole team. This may nip the issue in the bud so that further disciplinary action is unnecessary.
#7 Route All Call Offs Through a Manager
It’s amazing how well this works. It’s much easier for employees to take off work at the spur of the moment when they call in to the receptionist or leave a message with a colleague or on voicemail.
Take Action: When an employee knows they are expected to notify a manager with call offs, they will more than likely think twice before making that call.
#8 Follow Up
After a team member returns from work after calling off for an illness, check how they are feeling and if they are able to resume their work.
Take Action: Following up has the dual purpose of letting employees know you care and also that you’re aware of absences.
Sometimes, life happens. Traffic jams and sickness are circumstances that obviously can’t be avoided. What's not acceptable is when an employee never seems to be able to make it to work on time or calls off work regularly.
If that’s the case, the employee is not respecting your time or the time of his/her team. Insperity.com states that, over time, this situation can breed resentment, disengagement among employees, and bitterness toward you, their employer.
You can prevent this from happening by keeping good records, proactively dealing with issues that arise and practicing preventative maintenance.
Accountability and reliability are both critical aspects of running a successful security business. Silvertrac can help by automatically identifying inefficiencies in your organization. With a variety of automated reports, you and your supervisors can stay constantly aware of urgent issues, under performing personnel, and more. Let us arm you with information so you can take action!