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January 01, 2011
Encouraging Punctuality and Good Attendance

Attendance issues are important in an organization. How can your supervisors encourage punctuality and attendance in your organization? The following is information that can be conveyed to supervisors in your organization regarding ways in which punctuality and good attendance can be encouraged within the organization:

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Of course, if you take steps to promote punctuality and good attendance among your employees, you may never need to resort to discipline.

  • To encourage employees to come to work on time and minimize absences, positive reinforcement for good attendance is generally more effective in the long run than discipline. You can encourage good attendance and punctuality on a daily basis simply by showing your appreciation when employees come to work as scheduled and arrive on time. You can point out how this helps everyone in the department and how everyone benefits from one another’s good attendance and punctuality.
  • In addition, you can set up a formal system for recognizing good attendance. For example, you could recognize perfect attendance records by:
    • Posting the names of these employees on the department bulletin board
    • Taking them to lunch
    • Submitting the information to the company newsletter for publication

Another approach that often gains employee attention is to offer group rewards when everyone is consistently on time and not abusing time off. Having donuts, bagels, or other food on hand from time to time at the beginning of a shift as a reward for punctuality and good attendance shows employees that their efforts are appreciated. Another possible reward: Let employees leave a little early on the day before a holiday or on an occasional Friday when attendance has been good during a particular period.

  • If regular attendance and punctuality are considered essential functions of a job—as they are for most jobs—then it makes sense to include this in the job description. That way, you will be sure to emphasize it when interviewing job candidates and when orienting new employees.
  • Yet another effective way to stress attendance and punctuality as important work values is through the inclusion of attendance in performance appraisals. If it is made clear to your employees that attendance is a category of performance that affects future consideration for raises and promotions, there’s a good chance that they will reassess their behavior in this area.

The above information comes from BLR’s presentation “Attendance Management: What Supervisors Need to Know.” For more information on all the training courses BLR has to offer, go to our Employee and Manager Training page.

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