Your star employees keep you smiling every day, while poor performers have you pulling your hair. And it’s usually easy to identify who’s who without much effort.
Then there’s the worst kind employee of all: The dreaded George Costanza. Someone who appears to be a star on the surface, but who’s quite the opposite.
If you encounter Costanza-esque behavior in your company, address it immediately or suffer the consequences!
You remember George from the TV sitcom Seinfeld — he spent nine seasons demonstrating one of the most inexplicable work ethics of all time. He practically wrote the guidebook on how to avoid work while appearing highly valued. Some tricks of his trade included:
While these are extreme measures to avoid work, you can bet George’s antics inspired a slew of slackers to copy him. One of the best defenses against George-ian behavior, is having clear policies surrounding your expectations for employees when they are at work.
One of the biggest manipulations by employees — especially if it isn’t addressed and corrected — is time abuse. Whether it’s the ol’ coming in late and leaving early, extended lunch breaks without approval or excessive chatting by the water cooler, each of these is a drain on productivity, which reduces profitability.
By tracking unapproved or unexplained absences and dealing with attendance problems head on, you can control costs and avoid drains on your business. Here are some pointers:
Cultivate the behavior you desire. Corporate culture is often significant contributor to lax employee attitudes. Whatever you allow, you’ll get more of it. If you tolerate bad habits, expect more of the same. If you have no tolerance for unaccepted behavior, you’ll create an environment that delivers desired results.
Start with a clear workplace policy. A formal policy lets you establish attendance rules, share them with employees and enforce them consistently. You can cover a lot of ground here, but at the very least, define late or missed work time, available paid and unpaid leave, holidays and other company leave, and the consequences for not following the rules.
Establish attendance rules, communicate them to all employees, and enforce them consistently. When addressing attendance problems, be consistent with both written standards and how you treat others under similar circumstances. For example, if your company has a written policy allowing employees five annual tardies, you shouldn’t discipline or terminate anyone for tardiness until that number is reached. Similarly, you shouldn’t reprimand employees for violating your company’s attendance policy if other employees have committed the same violation without consequence. ComplyRight offers a free employee management course, that helps you learn how to control and possibly reduce attendance issues.
Deploy an attendance-tracking system. An online resource is ideal for tracking who is absent, how often and why — all of which can help you spot troubling patterns and address problems early. You can view all employees’ absences on a single calendar for quick reference, set up a customized time-off accrual plan to suit your business and even allow employees to check their time-off balances from any computer or mobile device.
Make attendance management a priority. It’s critical for supervisors to document employee attendance, identifying excessive absenteeism or tardiness, and addressing problems through counseling and/or discipline. Keep in mind that discussions about attendance, although sometimes difficult, are in the best interest of the company because they allow employees the opportunity to improve. This, in turn, can boost productivity and morale — two things that suffer most when absenteeism gets out of hand.
Address problems Immediately. Using a calendar-style tracking system encourages consistent attendance monitoring, helping you document and identify patterns quickly and effectively. By documenting absences or tardiness with “reason codes” on an actual calendar, you can spot negative attendance patterns at a glance and promptly address them with your employees. You should discuss any pattern of tardiness or absenteeism with an employee as soon as an issue arises. Document your notes about the conversation, even if you do not issue a formal disciplinary warning.
The best way to contain Constanza-nitis is to leverage resources that help you manage the behavior you want. The Attendance Calendar Smart App from HRdirect makes it easy to keep track of your employee attendance and quickly spot troubling patterns at a glance. It’s easy-to-use like a paper calendar, but backed by the benefits of software.
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