Forging the Workforce of the Future: Can you increase employee attendance?

4 min read ·  

John is 5 minutes late for work every day while his colleague Martha is late for 30 minutes once a week. Do these late clock ins really matter? For many Australian businesses, they do. In shift work industries and frontline roles, frequent tardiness can mean disruption and loss of profit. Even just 10 minutes of being late accumulates over time and eats away at the bottom line.  But in a 2017 CareerBuilder survey, 29% of respondents said they came in late at least once a month. 49% blame the traffic for their tardiness, 32% blame it on oversleeping, while the rest blame bad weather, procrastination, and “too tired to get out of bed.” How can managers discourage lateness among employees?

How to increase employee attendance

Many traditional managers believe that harsh sanctions are the best way to eliminate lateness at work. However, sanctions lower employee morale. They can drive productivity down and result in a high turnover rate. That’s why at this year’s Workforce Success Conference, we are inviting students to propose ways to increase employee attendance in Australia. Read on to know more about the tried-and-tested ways to increase employee attendance in Australia. Get the chance to improve on these methods by signing up for the case competition today! An internship and cash prize awaits the winner.

1. Track time and attendance accurately

The first step to making sure that proper clock ins and outs are observed is by tracking them accurately. Otherwise, your company will be exposed to a risk of time theft, or employees being paid for the hours they did not work. Lax monitoring systems make companies vulnerable. Manual time clocks are no longer reliable, as they are susceptible to time theft. Investing in cloud-based time and attendance software saves you time and energy on processing employee timesheets. Download a clocking system app for free and give it a try.

Read more: Time Theft: Top 3 ways employees steal time and how to stop it

2. Address frequent lateness ASAP

Feedback and coaching are important parts changing behaviour. Those who fail to meet time and attendance targets could be doing so for any number of reasons, such as single parenthood, chronic illness, or even financial instability. Understanding what they are going through is instrumental to helping them perform better. Managers should be able to empower employees to comply with their work hours. Schedule consultations with them to identify the issues and address them accordingly.

Download and customise: Written warning – Late Attendance

3. Reward good employee attendance

Deducting pay for frequent lateness is one solution and is a common one. But employee incentives for punctuality serve to underscore the importance of time and attendance in a more positive way. There are many ways managers have incentivised coming in on time. They require some work for managers, but the effect on morale and productivity cannot be understated. Here are some of the most frequently used strategies to increase employee attendance.

Provide free breakfast once a month

  • One popular way to reward punctuality is to provide free breakfast. This can be done once a month on a set day, or even more frequently, but on random days. Those who have good attendance will feel the benefits of coming in early, while those who don’t will start thinking about it.

Give out tokens to multiple employees

  • Gift cards, lunch vouchers, and company apparel cost little but are always appreciated. Keeping the rewards budget-friendly will allow you to give them out to more people and more often. It’s also a great way to keep attention on the program.

Create a “Hall of Fame” for time and attendance

  • Publicly recognise employees who consistently come in on time and do not have unexcused absences. It will boost their morale, and hopefully inspire others to follow suit.

Give consistent performers time off

  • Don’t think of this as an additional expense, because a consistent performer will have more than made up for it. This can be the high value reward given out during your end-of-year party. Include a plane ticket and hotel accommodations if you can afford it!

Read more: Only a Matter of Time: Punctuality and attendance in multicultural workplaces

Forge the workforce of the future

Modern managers are people-centric. Many of them want to create a work culture built on trust, respect, and balance. When employees are constantly late to work, there are usually reasons that lie below the surface. Empowering them through attendance programs are more likely to increase morale and productivity. Sanctions and punishments for lateness are sometimes necessary, but there is plenty of room for creativity in this area of management. In the end, increasing employee attendance will benefit not just them, but also their team and the company as a whole.


Ready to forge the workforce of the future by increasing employee attendance? Form a team of 3-5 students and sign up today. A cash prize and internship awaits! We’ll email you more details and provide consultation once you sign up.

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