Here in the Northeast there is certainly a great deal of excitement about this Sunday’s Super Bowl contest between two teams from our backyard. The game between the Patriots and the Giants is likely to increase attendance at annual Super Bowl themed festivities. Bigger parties will mean more beverages, more hangovers and more Monday morning call outs. With New Englanders, New Yorkers and their fans across the country the partying will not be contained to one region. Based on results from a survey conducted earlier this month The National Retail Federation expects 158 million people to watch the Super Bowl on TV.
What will you say to the employee whose devotion as a football fan is matched by their devotion to partying that resulting in a sick call on Monday, February 4th? What do you say to the employee who is consistently absent after a 3 day weekend, or vacation? We all know employees who like to stretch out their time away from the job.
Annoying post holiday/vacation/celebration sick days should be treated as the problematic attendance issue that they present. Start by taking out a calendar and noting the days that the employee has called in sick or been late. Is there a pattern of Mondays, Fridays or extending time off? Don’t wait to address the employee. Using the graphic of a calendar is an effective way to illustrate your point. I also like to make a list of absences and lateness as another a good visual.
If these absences are compounded by additional attendance issues don’t leave those out of the conversation. Patterns of absences and excessive absence or lateness create the same problem in the workplace. The employee is not there to do the work! When the employee has been late or absent 10 times within the past 2 months tell them they have been missed at least once a week.
Employers make a mistake when they separate lateness and absences for discipline losing sight of the problem that these issues create. The next big mistake many employers make when disciplining for attendance is stating, “The next time you are late you will be fired.”
An employee is absent or late 7 days during the month of January, you finally tell them they will be fired the next time they are out. This employee gets the message and maintains a perfect record until they are late on May 1st. Are you really going to fire them? The discipline and message you are giving is really inconsistent. A better way to conclude a discipline conversation or written document about attendance is to say “If your attendance record does not improve you may be terminated” or “If your record of attendance continues to be unacceptable you may be subject to further disciplinary action up to and including termination.”
Enjoy the big game. I hope your favorite team wins and the work day the on Monday starts off smoothly. Good natured post game recap will be more enjoyable when everyone is at work to participate.