Managing Employee Struggles with a Time and Attendance Policy

March 18, 2024

Picture this: One of your hard-working and reliable employees has started to miss work more frequently. This employee used to be punctual and reliable, but recently they’ve been calling in sick or coming in late several times a week. Their absences are causing problems for their colleagues, who have to take on additional work when they’re not there. In addition, this has led to tension in the workplace and a decrease in productivity. 

After having one-on-one meetings with the employee, it became clear that she was struggling with a lot of family issues. She’s a single mother, and her elderly mother is sick and requires care. On top of that, the cost of childcare and a caretaker for her mother is beyond her means. All of these challenges have been taking a toll on her mental health and motivation. She still comes to work because she needs the income, but she is not motivated to perform at her best. As the employee’s manager, how can you effectively address this situation?

To get better solutions, keep reading. In this article, we’ll explore how to create a time and attendance policy that addresses employees’ struggles. We’ll also cover some of the latest trends in time and attendance policies. By the end, you’ll have a better understanding of how to manage these issues and keep your employees engaged and productive.

Contents

What is a Time and Attendance Policy?

How a Well-Written Time and Attendance Policy can Address Employees’ struggles

3 Trends in Time and Attendance Policies

FAQs

What is a Time and Attendance Policy?

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Definition of Attendance Policy

A time and attendance policy is a set of clear rules and guidelines that outline how employees should track and report their working hours. This policy covers things like start and end times, breaks, overtime, sick days, and vacation days. It also includes the process for recording your absences and the consequences for violating the policy. For instance, in the scenario above, a clear time and attendance policy would also specify the consequences of violating the policy, such as disciplinary action or termination. Such a policy can help to clarify expectations and create a fair and consistent approach to managing employee attendance.  It also helps to prevent misunderstandings and miscommunication, while ensuring that employees’ well-being is prioritised. 

How a Well-Written Time and Attendance Policy can Address Employees’ Struggles 

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Benefits of an Attendance Management Policy

Most employees struggle to find the right balance between their work and family life. One way that a time and attendance policy can help is by offering flexible work options, such as part-time work, job sharing, compressed workweeks, and remote work. This can give employees more control over their schedules and allow them to better manage their time and priorities. In addition, these flexible shifts can help the company reduce turnover costs, reduce training costs and also save on office space. 

One other factor that may contribute to absenteeism includes, the lack of motivation and appreciation. It’s important for employees to feel like their work is valued and appreciated. As such, a time and attendance policy can include specific ways to recognize and reward employees for their hard work and dedication. This can include things like public recognition, bonuses, and other incentives.

A good time and attendance policy should also offer training and development opportunities. When employees feel like they’re growing and developing in their roles, they’re more likely to be engaged and motivated. Therefore, this type of policy can include a specific budget for employee training and development including things like on-the-job training, external training courses, or tuition reimbursement.  

Additionally, to help manage employee challenges, a time and attendance policy can also include a focus on their health and wellness. This could include things like offering on-site fitness facilities, wellness programs, or health screenings. The policy could also encourage employees to take breaks throughout the day and promote healthy eating habits. 

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Trends to Look out For

Various trendy techniques are used to manage employee attendance. One of these trends that you should know of is artificial intelligence (AI), which is increasingly being used in time and attendance management. For instance, the use of AI-powered time clocks that use facial recognition or fingerprint scanning to automatically record an employee’s start and end times. This technique can reduce errors and streamline the process of tracking hours worked. Moreover, AI is also being used to automatically schedule employees based on their availability and preferences. In addition, AI can be used to predict future staffing needs and identify when additional employees are needed. 

Furthermore, the gig economy refers to the trend of workers completing short-term tasks or projects, rather than working full-time for one company. Many companies are now using gig workers for short-term projects or to fill in for absent employees. Gig technology refers to the platforms and tools that are used to connect gig workers with companies. One example is Uber for Business, which allows companies to request and schedule rides for their employees. 

Another trend is that of biometric technology, which is being used more and more to improve the accuracy of time and attendance tracking. Biometric technology uses a person’s unique physical or behavioural characteristics to identify them. Examples include fingerprint scanning, facial recognition, and voice recognition. These technologies can be used to verify an employee’s identity when they clock in or out, which helps to prevent instances where one employee clocks in for another. It also helps to ensure that only authorized employees have access to company facilities. 

FAQs

Are there any reliable attendance statistics that illustrate the problem?

The ONS publishes annual attendance statistics and you can find other sources online too.

What’s an example of a reliable time and attendance system to use? 

One of the most recommended attendance tracking systems is the Leave Wizard system


Remember that you, as a manager, play a critical role in developing time and attendance policies that support employee well-being, which in turn contributes to the overall business success. By focusing on flexibility, health and wellness, and the use of technology, you can create policies that will truly help your employees thrive. Being aware of future trends in time and attendance management, such as advancements in AI and biometric technology, will also give you an advantage and ensure your policies are aligned with the newest technologies. Finally, staying informed and proactive will help you make your policies effective and relevant, in an ever-changing work environment.