Here's 5 tips on how to manage employee attendance (2024)

This blog looks at what employee attendance management encompasses, why employee attendance management is vital for organisational success, and 5 tips on how to manage employee attendance effectively.

HR leaders know that managing employees effectively is a crucial aspect of any organisation, and doing so correctly has a huge impact on productivity, engagement and culture. A big part of that is managing employee attendance, which includes the absence and leave that workers take, as well as how their time is spent while they are present at work.

What is employee attendance management?

Employee attendance management is a key HR process – it involves keeping track of working hours, including recording overtime and when employees clock in and out for the day. It also include tracking sickness absences, as well as managing the booking of holidays and other types of leave, such as maternity leave. Employee attendance tracking can also include the use of timesheets, encouraging employees to take the correct number of breaks throughout the day, what happens when an employee is late, their working location (in the case of hybrid, remote or field employees), and the process for managing an employee’s return to work following a period of absence.

Why should organisations pay attention to employee attendance management?

Gain visibility over your teams

By managing employee attendance effectively, organisations are able to gain more visibility over their teams including how they are working, how productive they are, how much overtime they are logging, and their absence rates. This can highlight any areas where improvement may be needed. For example, particularly high absence rates may suggest engagement and wellbeing issues, and a significant amount of overtime could point to heavy workloads.

By monitoring leave as part of employee attendance management processes, organisations can also resource plan more effectively by avoiding having too many employees off work at the same time, or arranging temporary cover during busy periods for the company.

Avoid common work attendance issues

Prioritising robust employee attendance management helps to eliminate some of the pitfalls that can arise from poor work attendance, including:

  • Lower productivity
  • Delays to projects, causing deadlines to be missed
  • Inconsistent customer service, if your clients frequently find themselves unable to get in touch with the same person
  • The need to arrange temporary cover for absent employees
  • Lower employee morale from those who are tasked with picking up the workloads of absent colleagues
  • The need for employees to work more overtime to cover for absent team members, costing the organisation more money

Tips on how to manage employee attendance

Having clear employee attendance management systems in place can help to increase an organisation’s productivity, highlight any areas for improvement, and ensure that employee wellbeing remains a priority. Here are some tips to manage employee attendance:

Update attendance policies and ensure clear communication

To ensure that employees know the ins and outs of their attendance and what’s expected of them, review and update your attendance policy. This, where relevant should include details about your organisation’s processes on things such as:

  • Short and long-term sickness absence
  • Return to work interviews
  • Lateness
  • Overtime
  • Requesting annual leave
  • Different types of leave entitlements
  • Working locations
  • Timesheets and time tracking

Make sure these procedures and expectations are communicated throughout the organisation, so that everyone knows where they stand.

Implement an employee attendance management system

Implementing an attendance management system provides HR and organisations with one central source of truth. From keeping track of holidays, to reporting on working hours to ensure compliance with country-specific legislation such as the EU Working Time Directive, organisations can handle their employee data in one platform that removes the manual work and room for error. Using an attendance tracker can also boost productivity and the employee experience, by helping to speed up previously lengthy processes.

Integrate your attendance tracker with payroll

Integrating HR software can be a game-changer when it comes to elevating efficiency and ensuring accuracy. By combining an attendance solution with payroll, you can ensure you’re not underpaying or overpaying employees for things like overtime and sick pay, which could happen if done the manual way.

Empower employees to manage their own time

Providing employees with a platform to view and manage their own attendance data is a great way to empower them to manage their own time. Implementing a holiday booking system or time tracking software enables employees to request annual leave that fits alongside their colleagues, manage if and when they opt to do overtime, view their leave entitlements, and request things like TOIL (time off in lieu). This gives a greater sense of autonomy, allowing employees to plan out their schedules and see for themselves how they are using their time.

Prioritise a positive workplace culture

Understanding that employee attendance fluctuates is key. Employees are entitled to take leave, they will succumb to sickness from time to time, and life events will cause them to be late for work or need to leave early once in a while. That’s all part of managing employees, and being flexible will help to create a positive workplace culture where employees feel supported rather than scrutinised.

Tracking productivity and finding out where gaps are forming is made easier with the use of time tracking and absence management software, but these systems also provide an opportunity to identify ways in which organisations can empower, support and encourage employees to show up ready and motivated to carry out their best work.

See how edays absence management software can help you Get a Free Demo

Georgina Mackintosh is an accomplished copywriter and marketing professional with a background that spans several industries. Her writing focuses on HR topics such as employee wellbeing, engagement and experience - as well as absence management best practice, how-to guides and news from the HR sector.

Here's 5 tips on how to manage employee attendance (2024)


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