Overcoming Employee Absenteeism and Tardiness

HR Resource
April 30, 2013 — 4,586 views  
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In an organization, it is common to face issues regarding absenteeism and tardiness with a few employees. This is a complicated issue to deal with as it is very hard to come up with an effective solution to this problem. But as a manager, you have to deal with this issue, with equal importance, as you deal with all other issues.

Effects of Employee Tardiness & Absenteeism

An employee could be late for a few minutes once in a while and you might think it is okay to look over it as it does not affect the organization’s productivity. You will also come across employees who do not turn up for work and do not even bother to inform. Though they will explain the gravity of their situation later, is it right for you to ignore such acts of tardiness and absenteeism?

Absenteeism and tardiness could get viral; if you excuse one, the problem will continue with many others. The worst would be feelings of resentment among co-workers which could reduce the productivity and employee morale in your organization.

How to Deal With it?

The best ways to deal with absenteeism and tardiness is to lay out a set of rules which all employees are expected to follow.


You could allow maybe 15 minutes flexibility from the time that they are supposed to report to work. An employee coming later than 15 minutes will have to work for overtime. Call in a person who reports late for the first time and talk to him. Letting him know that you noticed him come late could stop him from turning into a perpetual latecomer. If employees are coming in late very often, you could ask them for solutions to rectify this problem. Depending on that, you could offer to take up different work timings which would be more comfortable for the employees.


The first sign of absenteeism starts when an employee doesn’t show up for work without calling in. Don’t ignore it; call him and ask if he intends to come for work. This way you can make him understand your views about attendance. An employee might call in sick every other day, thereby misusing the advantage that you have given him; notice the pattern of absence as it could be a stretched weekend. If his absence has affected a project, you could ask him to work on a holiday and complete the assigned work.

Boost Employee Morale

To lift employee morale in your organization, you need to make the defaulters aware of the gravity of their action. If verbal and written warnings are not helping, suspend or terminate them. Provision of sufficient time-offs for employees’ personal work and recognition to punctual employees with an extra day-off will keep them optimistic.

Publish your policies and hand out copies to all the employees; ensure that it is always up-to-date. Make them sign the document so that you can confirm that they are aware of disciplinary actions that can be taken against them. Win their trust by ensuring that they can come and speak to you if they are not comfortable with their work or facing any problems whether at work or home.

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