The attendance at our company is very poor with a high percentage of our staff unable to report on time for their scheduled shifts. We use progressive discipline but it is not working well. If we follow through the traditional steps of progressive discipline, we will have to fire several people. What can we do?July 14, 2011
Progressive discipline is a tricky policy to enforce, especially if employees sense that management lacks the will or ability to take punitive measures, up to and including termination. Management should make sure they have probed the true cause of the problem—in this case, absenteeism. Clear communications, fair and impartial enforcement of intermediate discipline, and retraining of supervisors who allow chronic absenteeism are vital. Steps along the path to termination can include rewarding excellent attendance, denying salary increases for chronic slackers, docking pay for non-exempt employees, and replacing poor managers. Termination of a supervisor who allows employees to flout attendance policies might send an effective message to subordinates.