How to conduct employee attendance evaluation (a guide)

by Andy Nguyen
Employee Attendance Evaluation

Employee attendance evaluation involves recording and analyzing employee presence to evaluate how regular and punctual they’re.

With routine attendance evaluation, the supervisor can spot employee absenteeism, tardiness, and other attendance issues and create plans to address them. It also helps regulate paid time-offs and minimize payroll errors, improving your profit margins.

But how do you carry out an employee attendance evaluation?

In this article, we’ll discuss five easy tips to perform employee attendance evaluations. We’ll also look into 24 phrases to use in a performance review and five steps to increase attendance post employee evaluation.

This article includes:

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Let’s get started.

5 easy tips to perform employee attendance evaluation 

Carrying out an employee attendance evaluation can be challenging for businesses of all sizes. While small businesses may lack the necessary resources, large ones may struggle with management. 

Let’s look at five tips that can help you simplify the evaluation process:

1. Consider all factors of employee attendance 

While gathering data for attendance evaluation, make sure to include all the information related to employee hours. This will help you conduct an accurate assessment with genuine data.

Here’re a few factors you need to consider:

A. Time cards

Time cards will show an employee’s time usage in a workday, week, or month. 

By tracking their time, you can ensure that an employee works for a minimum number of hours daily. You can also spot tardiness from the time entries. 

B. Sick days and other paid time offs

Employees might misuse paid leaves and generate false records, which can affect the reliability of the employee attendance evaluation process.

To avoid this, you need to ensure the reason for employees’ missing work falls under the paid leave category according to the company’s attendance policy.

C. Lunch and snack breaks

Employees may start their lunch break early and end it late – giving them a longer break. Recording breaks can show you such misuses, which you can account for in the attendance evaluation process. 

2. Keep an attendance record 

Attendance records are a detailed log of employee time entries, leaves, PTO, and other attendance related information. These records help managers with payroll calculations, attendance evaluations, absence management, etc.

Traditionally, managers use spreadsheets for storing attendance records. But these can be tedious to maintain and time-consuming to use.

Instead, you can use advanced attendance software, like Time Doctor, with powerful time tracking functionality. 

Save time with Time Doctor’s automatic attendance tracking and Work Schedules feature. Check it out here.

Time Doctor offers an automatic and manual time tracking feature that records employee clock in and out times and all the activities they do while the app is running. It also tracks the days an employee doesn’t log in and recognizes absences.

It also lets supervisors set flexible or fixed schedules for each employee and records the time they spend on their schedules.

Know more about Time Doctor features from here.

3. Measure absenteeism and its costs 

There are two types of absence costs: direct and indirect. 

Direct costs are straight away related to payroll calculation and involve paid time off, overtime wages, and replacement worker costs. 

On the other hand, indirect costs don’t directly contribute to monetary loss. It includes work delays, lost productivity, unplanned absences, etc.

Absenteeism is a major contributor to both costs.
In fact, the productivity loss due to absenteeism costs employers billions of dollars every year.

To measure absenteeism, you can use these three metrics:

  • Incidence rate: It measures absences per 100 employees during a work period. 
  • Inactivity rate: The percentage of time that was scheduled for work that was lost due to absenteeism.
  • Severity period: The average time lost per absent employee during a specified time period.

4. Give detailed feedback

You need to be mindful of phrasing the review appropriately. It has to be encouraging, to the point, and polite. Jump to this section for some sample phrases you can use during employee performance reviews.

Also, suggest a few ways to improve their drawbacks. Not only will this help the employee improve, but it will also strengthen the manager-employee relationship.

Most importantly, employee attendance evaluation reviews are most effective when you note down each employee’s shortcomings and your expectations from them. This can give a clear picture of their performance and how to improve it.

5. Determine the authenticity of the reason for absence

Before you issue an ultimatum for absence, understand why the employee was unavailable. 

If it’s valid, you can support them in rejoining quickly. 

For instance, let’s say an employee has been on leave due to burnout. You can reassign a few tasks to other employees or assign additional help to the stressed employee when they return to work. 

Now that you know how to conduct an attendance performance evaluation, let’s see different phrases you can use to convey the review result effectively.

24 polite sample attendance performance review phrases

Performance reviews are often difficult to discuss with employees. If you don’t phrase your statements appropriately, employees could feel offended or discouraged.

Moreover, some employees may find it difficult to accept negative feedback. They may feel their efforts aren’t appreciated, decreasing employee morale and job satisfaction.

To avoid this, you need to analyze the review and phrase sentences appropriately. 

Here are a few sample phrases to help you give great attendance feedback:

1. Outstanding

These attendance performance appraisal phrases are for employees exceeding your performance expectations:

  • [Employee] considers other employee leaves when scheduling time off and helps avoid unscheduled absences.
  • [Employee] is very prompt at the start of each workday and portrays high productivity.
  • As a manager, [Employee] efficiently handles a huge team with frequent unexcused absences. Yet they always maintain adequate staffing levels.
  • [Employee]’s positive attitude towards regularity and punctuality encourages the team to strive for better attendance levels.
  • [Employee] guides staff members during high workloads with efficient timekeeping skills and helps prevent burnout. 
  • Being the best performing employee in the team, [Employee] motivates their team members to be more productive.

2. Meets expectations

These performance appraisal phrases highlight satisfactory performance:

  • [Employee] has perfect attendance throughout the year and hasn’t caused attendance management issues with unscheduled absences.
  • [Employee] sticks to the attendance policy. They don’t make requests for an unnecessary excused absence.
  • [Employee] is a reliable employee and logs into work on time every day.
  • [Employee] doesn’t take unscheduled absences and punctuality is their strong trait.
  • [Employee] has good communication skills and conveys attendance evaluation review to team members effectively.
  • Showing ideal employee behavior, [Employee] does not have any attendance problems.

3. Needs improvement

For employees who sometimes show excessive tardiness and absenteeism, you can use these performance analysis phrases:

  • [Employee] is mostly punctual and informs if they might come in late.
  • [Employee] takes longer lunch breaks and doesn’t make adjustments to their work schedule to compensate for this.
  • Although [Employee] has efficient time management skills and completes work by the deadline, they don’t reach the office on time. This sets a poor example for their colleagues.
  • [Employee] doesn’t ask for leaves beforehand and causes attendance management issues. They need to improve their communication skills.
  • For most of the year, the [Employee] has excellent attendance. But they have been tardy recently and should improve their dependability.
  • [Employee] doesn’t work towards the organization’s goals and exhausts excused absences quickly.

4. Failed to meet expectations

Employees who possess the skills required by the organization may not meet expectations due to poor timekeeping, tardiness, and absenteeism. 

Here are some performance review phrases for such employees:

  • [Employee] reports to work late every day and disrupts the team’s schedule and productivity while showing poor job performance.
  • [Employee] doesn’t utilize working hours effectively and passes the time by taking unnecessary breaks and chatting with coworkers.
  • [Employee] displays unproductive behavior during the workday that affects fellow team members’ work.
  • [Employee]’s weak and inappropriate interpersonal skills demotivate team members from working efficiently. 
  • [Employee] fails to make timely requests for excused absences causing last-minute staffing difficulties.
  • [Employee] is always tardy and takes unscheduled breaks.

After conveying the attendance performance review to the employee, you need to devise a plan to increase employee attendance and reduce absenteeism. 

Let’s look at five easy solutions to do this.

5 smart ways to increase employee attendance

Here are a few ways to increase employee attendance:

1. Provide training and human resources support

Maintaining the necessary staffing levels can be hard if managers lack the skills for attendance management and related activities. 

As a result, you need to ensure that managers are well-trained in employee scheduling, work distribution, and shift management. It’ll help them create optimized shifts and tackle staff shortages by making timely replacement changes. 

Additionally, proper scheduling and work distribution can minimize employee burnout, which can help reduce absenteeism. Then, you need to train managers on handling excessive absenteeism, PTO misuse, and other attendance issues. 

Your HR (Human Resource) team can take up the responsibility to train managers on critical aspects like enforcing the employee attendance policy and scheduling shifts. 

2. Execute employee absence control program

Traditional attendance policies usually don’t consider the employees’ circumstances and may prompt them to work when they actually can’t. 

For example, let’s say an organization offers five sick days in a year and takes disciplinary action if an employee fails to rejoin work after exhausting them. This can force a sick employee to show up to work to escape from disciplinary actions.

Not only will this decrease employee morale, but it could also compromise the health of other team members. If more employees fall sick, it’ll further decrease the company’s productivity.

To avoid this, you need to stop following traditional absence control programs blindly and take decisions only after considering employee situations.

In addition, you could implement PTO (Paid Time Off) banks.

What is a PTO bank?

PTO bank combines all paid leaves, like sick leave, vacation leaves, and other paid time offs. Employees can take leaves from the bank as they like without any restriction. 

This way, employees have more flexibility in controlling leaves. They can take as many sick days as required without worrying about disciplinary action or other consequences.

However, this absence control program may be ineffective when absenteeism is high. 

Employees may misuse the PTO banks, exhaust them, and take additional leaves.

In such cases, you can execute alternative work arrangements, like remote or hybrid work. 

3. Give appropriate incentives

Employers can give incentives to employees with good attendance as a token of recognition of their effort and encourage them to maintain their performance. This can motivate other employees to follow their example. 

For instance, let’s say a team member reaches the office on time every day despite heavy traffic. You can give them a paid off day for their time management skills. This could encourage other employees to plan their workday better and reach the office on time.

Similarly, you can give an employee an attendance bonus for not taking any unpaid leaves. Other employees may understand the company’s expectations and try to do the same.

4. Arrange wellness initiatives

An employee with good health, financial security, a growing career, and social well-being is more likely to have the patience and willingness to work productively. Such employees will mostly show low absenteeism.

Consequently, you need to arrange wellness programs, like stress management sessions, health-related quizzes, mental health awareness classes, etc., to enhance employee well-being.

These wellness initiatives aim to increase employee satisfaction, employee health, promote healthy habits, and more. This can make the employees feel valued, increasing their morale and performance.

5. Consider relevant laws

Companies can develop a practical employee attendance policy according to the various federal and state laws. Here are a few laws you can consider:

A. Wage and work hour laws

Depending on the local labor laws, employers can only ask employees to work for a maximum number of hours in a week for a particular hourly wage. Employees can also work overtime, earning more money at a higher hourly rate. 

However, these laws can vary for different states and countries, and you need to consider the regulations in your jurisdiction. 

Following your local laws can increase the credibility of the work timings in the company.

B. Family and medical leave regulations

Your employee can apply for family and medical leaves when they suffer from short-term disability, illness, or have other personal issues. These laws also include leaves to take care of a sick spouse, parent, or child.

Basically, these leaves let them attend to their responsibilities without contributing to absenteeism. 

For example, the USA’s FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) gives female employees maternity leave for 12 weeks. This means that a new mother can care for her child without being absent from work.

Wrapping up

As essential as attendance evaluation is for performance management and tracking employee absences, it can be time-consuming and difficult to execute.

Use the five simple tips we covered here for simplifying employee attendance evaluation. 

You can also use the sample attendance performance appraisal phrases to give clear and effective feedback. 

And finally, with a powerful attendance tracking tool like Time Doctor, you’ll be able to keep track of employee attendance and productivity with ease.  

Sign up for Time Doctor’s 14-days free trial to conduct effortless employee attendance evaluations!

View a free demo of Time Doctor

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