Attendance is one of the most valued work ethics from the employer’s point of view. Employees who make timely attendance a regular habit are the ones most likely to give proper notice if a day off is needed. Alternately, employees who come to work late – or not at all – will put their department and company in tight positions.

Reduce Employee Absenteeism and Leave Abuse with an Attendance Policy

To ensure staffing plans meet important needs of the operation, employees are held accountable for their work schedule. The most direct way of accomplishing this is with a written company-wide attendance policy.

However, even a well-written policy is subject to abuse without consistent enforcement. The policy also needs a strategic system in place that alerts managers before attendance problems become a major issue.

The key is having a company policy that sets forth rules for allowed absences and behaviors that lead to disciplinary action. An added layer of administering the policy effectively is to pair it with Mitrefinch’s automated time and attendance system. Not only can this type of system curb abuses, but it also makes tracking more efficient.

Procedural Features of an Attendance Tracking System

Company policies represent documented rules of conduct and guidelines within organizations. These statements outline the responsibilities of employees and employers. The business interest of organizations and that of employees are protected.

Using a company attendance policy helps to ensure adequate staffing, productivity standards and morale is consistent throughout the organization. A management software program can be customized to policy rules. With this, employees have a written and automated version of the policy.

Expectations are never in question when the system is constructed to track every aspect of absentee problems including:

  • No-call/no-shows
  • Taking sick leave when well
  • Approved time off
  • Employees who exhaust their leave every month
  • Regular tardiness
  • Not clocking in or clocking out

A time and attendance system can track these occurrences and recognize patterns of abuse. When management becomes aware of these instances through useful reports, they can proceed with the company’s disciplinary process.


Unscheduled absences are a hallmark of the attendance issues that employers deal with regularly. Being unavailable for a shift disrupts the workflow and puts other employees in a precarious position. They have to fill the gap caused by their coworker. In many cases, this saps morale when it appears one employee does this with no repercussions.

Tracking these types of absences and following company policy swiftly and evenly will help to reduce the problem.


An employee is tardy for work whenever he or she:

  • Arrives past the scheduled start time
  • Fails to report at the assigned workstation
  • Leaves work before completing a full shift and does so without manager approval
  • Extends lunch or break periods without manager approval

Again, an automated time and attendance system alerts managers to address these issues.

Use of the Time Tracking System to Clock in/out

Coming to work on time for scheduled shifts is not the only way attendance policies help companies protect the bottom line. Monitoring how employees record their time is just as important to meeting productivity and other key metrics.

Whether the time clock system is web-based, mobile or biometric fingerprints, employees are required to record their actual work time. Missing a clock in or clock out time is a policy violation and subject to disciplinary actions.

Specific to clocking in and out, the policy and tracking system work hand-in-hand to capture:

  • Failing to clock in/out of the assigned system at the beginning and/or end of a shift
  • Failing to clock in/out of the assigned system for lunch break
  • Clocking in/out early or late without getting prior approval

Departmental Notifications

Anytime an employees’ actions do not align with policy and procedure, the time tracking system can send reminders. Managers also receive notification that an employee is in violation of the policy. This gives managers immediate data to address an issue and look at individual situations.

If this is not a habit of one particular employee, the manager can address the issue from that perspective. However, if an employee always leaves work early on payday, or calls off every other Monday, the manager know that this consistent violation must be addressed.

Disciplinary Process

Typical time and attendance tracking system include an electronic version of company policy. Modules can be coded to monitor attendance so managers can address unsatisfactory patterns. Most companies have a progressive discipline process as an attempt to correct inappropriate patterns.

Once an employee is counseled under the progressive discipline process, further actions must match future behavior. This may include probation, suspension or termination.

Looking at the occurrences when an employee is absent is useful in determining how the disciplinary process will affect them. Besides being absent, an occurrence is also a documented tardy or missed clock in/out.

Using a time and attendance system to enforce the policy helps employers identify occurrences that are not protected under ADAAA or FMLA. Scheduled absences are not treated the same as unscheduled absences.

For instance, company-recognized holidays are considered scheduled absences. However, an employee who calls out the day before or after the holiday is subject to management review. The occurrence can either be a regular incident or a violation of policy that leads to a written warning.

A well-functioning workplace relies on employees showing up for their scheduled hours on time. Managing unscheduled absences are equally important. With a solid attendance tracking system, employers have an advantage for making sure staffing levels are maintained. They also have a powerful tool for addressing attendance issues before the department or the entire organization suffers.

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