Attendance incentives begin about as early in life as lessons in reading, writing and arithmetic but have outlasted them all in adult life. No one uses the word ‘tardy’ as much but, rest assured, employers need their employees to be where they’re supposed to be when they’re supposed to be, for as long as they’re supposed to be.
One might think salary is incentive enough but any staff must be comprised of folks who graduated high school or college with wildly different attendance records. Plenty of people simply get by and continue to do so in their professional life. For top performance, an employer must motivate. Luckily, those of us with a professional interest in attendance and timekeeping think about ways to do just that, all the time. Here are ten of our best ideas for attendance incentives:
- Time off
What better way to reward those who respect your time-off policy than to give time off? Give employees a legitimate way to earn time off and there will be less temptation to do so in more inconvenient or disruptive ways. For every week free of absences, employees can accumulate hours and eventually use them as official time off.
Granted, employees will always prefer the time off. However, there are options that are more mutually beneficial. Paying for training seminars or other forms of continued education will mean newly acquired skills at no cost for the employee, which will then hopefully be used in service to the company.
Catalogs allow for easy control of incentives. The employer sets the range of monetary value. The employee picks their prize within that range. Set different ranges for different levels of performance. The more quarters an employee goes without missing a day, the higher the range they can pick from.
- Awards and Certificates
Never underestimate the power of acknowledgment. Many employees still achieve perfect attendance simply because of their personal work ethic. Plenty have the philosophy that hard work goes unnoticed or unappreciated. A piece of paper with their name accompanied by praise goes a long way. Frame it and put a copy in their file. Employees who wind up building a career with the company will benefit when interviewing for new positions or promotions.
Think of it as team spirit. Acknowledging an employee’s commitment to the team with specialty items made with the company brand will then send the strong message to others that spirit is high. Of course, if you already give such items away, then they will not have this value. You have to decide if you want to hold them aside as incentive. Free Training
This one depends on the size and location of your company. The more employees you have, the bigger the parking lot (hopefully), which means spaces close to the front door are more desirable. Special hang tags make great incentive for employees with optimum attendance. Otherwise, your location might affect how your staff gets to work. If public transportation is their means of travel, bus or train passes are a good idea.
- Day Trips
Company days at the local minor league baseball stadium may already be a regular event. It certainly is another way to keep the brand in the eyes of the public. As for who gets to go, that could be another incentive. It doesn’t have to be a baseball game, of course. It can be any day trip that fits into company time and is all-expenses paid.
- Gift Cards
Sure, gift cards may seem like an impersonal present for someone’s birthday or at Christmas. This is a reward for good attendance and can mean a free lunch. It works.
Speaking of lunch, food always works. Catered lunches could come from anywhere, depending on the company. They carry all sorts of gratitude from customers, management and employment agencies. If you have a preferred menu that you order from, allow the employee with the best attendance to forego the standard selection and take his pick of any item.
Lotteries or raffles are about all that remains. No employee will object to receiving a raffle ticket for months with no absences as long as they know can be redeemed for worthwhile prizes. We’re talking a vacation, a flat-screen TV, etc. Hold the raffle at the end of the year so that employees will be motivated to accumulate months of good attendance tickets and increase their odds of winning.
In case it’s not clear, none of these options should exist to prevent excessive absenteeism or tardiness. You should already have policies in place for that. It shouldn’t even be a reward for standard compliance. These incentives should exist as part of a stand-alone program that is actively promoted to employees as a boost to their morale and overall team performance.