Putting Your No-Fault Attendance Policy Into Action

Whether your new employee attendance point system implementation is successful depends largely on workers’ first reactions when the change is announced.

A great implementation process is 90% planning and 10% rollout.

A well-planned announcement with a positive physical or virtual presentation can make all the difference.

Read on for recommended steps you should consider.

Preparation For Announcing Your New Attendance Policy

Don’t rush the prep phase; it’s one of those things you want to do right, not fast.

Presenting the new point system in simple terms with a focus on the positives can boost employee acceptance.

Communication Plan to Introduce the New Policy

The first order of business – put together a communication plan.

As you write out the strategy, you should consider:

  • The transition plan – will the policy go into effect immediately or be phased in?
  • Group announcement or a post on the intranet followed by formal training sessions?
  • How many presentations are required? One for the whole company? One for each shift?
  • Separate sessions for exempt managers and non-exempt personnel
  • Special sessions for areas or departments with chronic attendance problems
  • Who should deliver each presentation or training?
  • Schedule the presentations and book meeting space or set up a virtual meeting/training

Write a complete outline and visuals for each version of the presentation or training:

  • Lead with a discussion of the rewards and follow with the disciplinary system
  • State that protected absences, like FMLA and jury duty, are excluded from the policy
  • Reinforce to them that exempt managers must follow the policy, too
  • Provide detailed steps to be followed if an employee must call out
  • Include who to call with phone numbers or the number and use of a hotline service

Distribution & Acknowledgement of the Written Policy

It may seem obvious but we will say it anyway: Do not proceed until the written policy is finalized, signed off by authorized personnel, and ready for publication.

The material you distribute may be a new employee handbook – if it has been updated to include the new policy.

In most cases, the new policy is distributed alone or as part of a handbook that defines the changes.

Send the new policy off to the printers, or provide it to the person who publishes and manages the online document control system.

Follow your HR distribution and acknowledgment process to document each team member’s receipt of the new policy, whether physically or electronically.

Training Your Workforce for the New Policy

The point system attendance policy can only be effective if all managers know how to apply it in exactly the same way in all instances and if all non-exempt employees understand how the system works.

Managers & Supervisors

Here are some points your management team should know:

  • They must lead by example and abide by the policy, even if their points are not tracked
  • The need to apply the policy evenly – there are no “special” cases
  • The critical need for documentation to protect them and the company in a dispute
  • Technical instructions for using data from the automated call-off hotline, if applicable OR
  • Step-by-step procedures for reporting, documenting, and tracking points
  • The manager’s role in distributing rewards and carrying out disciplinary action
  • Clear, detailed guidelines to avoid assigning points for protected absences
  • How to check absences against accommodation and leave requests and approvals

The takeaway for managers – a thorough understanding of the process so they can answer their employees’ questions accurately.

Non-Exempt Employees

Non-exempt employee training must include:

  • Overview of the policy and each employee’s rights and responsibilities
  • Specific details about the potential rewards
  • Explanation of the consequences of an unplanned/unapproved absence
  • Point assignments for starting work late or leaving work early
  • Phone number and technical instructions for using the automated call-off hotline OR
  • The name(s) and phone number(s) of persons authorized to receive a call-off

Role-Playing

After managers and non-exempt team members have been trained, you may wish to bring them together for HR-led role-playing.

This activity should be educational but also fun:

  • Throw out different call-out scenarios and ask the manager to determine the action to be taken.
  • Include examples of ADA, FMLA, and other protected absences, as well as car trouble, illness, oversleeping, and no-call-no-show events.
  • Talk about the impact on the employees who must work to pick up the slack or cover another worker’s shift on short notice.

Conclusion

Whether you are using an automated hotline for absence reporting or a manual system of phone calls or emails to specific individuals, the policy is only as good as the training your team receives before it takes effect.

Further Reading

What is an Employee Attendance Point System?

How to Create an Attendance Point System Policy and SOPs

Effortlessly Track Attendance Points with CMS

If you’re looking for a way to automate how you capture, calculate, and report on employee attendance points, the CMS Employee Call-Off Hotline may be your solution. Our 24/7 hotline provides a centralized number for employee call-ins and includes an employer dashboard where attendance metrics can be monitored. To learn more, click here.