Chronic absentee-ism

  1. How do you handle the employees that call in all the time? I have changed the attendance policy and enforce it. Every unexcused absence is a write up and 3 write ups is a termination. A no call, no show is immediate termination. We offer incentive bonuses to show up and not be late or leave early but that doesn't help. I bought pizza for days when we went all week with no call-in's. I've started taking away their days off if they call in or deny requests off but just not sure what to do to fix this problem. Any suggestions??
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   MandyInMS
    I didn't realize calling in frequently was an option..I mean if you are sick , of course you may need to call in..but not on a routine basis...and bribing employees to 'show up' ??? I guess I'm "Old School"...if you can't depend on someone to show up for work why do you NEED 'um??? Be dependable and on time or I don't want to work with you.
  4. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    They had a thing at a place i worked at, where if you were on time, never clocked out early, and didn't call off, you made a dollar more for each you work.

    Uh, i thought that being on time and good attendance was something that you worked for, though. Makes no sense to give people extra stuff/money for the crap they should have been doing in the first place.

    Only thing i can suggest is to hold a meeting and ask if there's any problems. Quite honestly, the call-ins happened more at this place when staff was short and peopel were worked like dogs.
  5. by   fiestynurse
    An incentive bonus for showing up for work? You are rewarding them for doing what they are supposed to do. I would have a written policy and procedure for sick leave, excluding FMLA of course. It should be progressive and end in termination if not corrected. Require a doctor's note if they are sick for more than 2-3 days. Be fair, equitable, and consistant.

    Discuss it at staff meetings. The staff that always show-up can talk about how they feel about the sick leave abusers. A little peer pressure always works.

    I also agree, that it could be working conditions and poor morale. Looking at the bigger picture always helps.
    Last edit by fiestynurse on May 29, '04
  6. by   RN4ustat
    The problem is poor work eithic. Probably something I can't fix but not all of us have it, including some of my professional nurses. I watched my dad go to work at the same job every day for 31 years. A lot of people in today's society don't have that kind of example set for them. And it shows in their work habits. Its not the working conditions, it is laziness and irresponsibility. Guess that's something I can fix only with a pink slip. Thanks for your suggestions.
  7. by   redwinggirlie
    Ask the employees what the problem is. That is my suggestion. Not being flip, but it worked at a place I worked at before. There is an underlying problem that pizza just won't fix. Good luck.
  8. by   donmomofnine
    We stopped almost all call outs on weekends by having the policy that if they call out on the weekend, they make it up the next one. We don't have too many problems with callouts. I do discipline to the point of suspension, never had to terminate, they got the message. When we suspend they lose that day of pay and also eight hours from their paid time off bank. Seems to get the message across!
  9. by   RN Rotten Nurse
    The solution to the problem is to set a number on absences (say 6 in a calendar year) in your policy. If one is absent that many times then he/she is automatically terminated. And stick to it!
  10. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    A set number of absences isn't realistic sometimes. In 1999 when i had the flu it lasted 3 straight weeks. Had to call the corporate office to keep from getting written up for call offs, never mind that i'd lost 15 pounds and was in the HOSPITAL.
  11. by   mariedoreen
    Quote from fiestynurse
    An incentive bonus for showing up for work? You are rewarding them for doing what they are supposed to do. I would have a written policy and procedure for sick leave, excluding FMLA of course. It should be progressive and end in termination if not corrected. Require a doctor's note if they are sick for more than 2-3 days. Be fair, equitable, and consistant.

    Discuss it at staff meetings. The staff that always show-up can talk about how they feel about the sick leave abusers. A little peer pressure always works.

    I also agree, that it could be working conditions and poor morale. Looking at the bigger picture always helps.
    I know someone who worked for a facility that had a policy which stated you could be terminated for having three sick days within a quarter.. She was already two sick days down when she showed up to work ill. They told her she was too ill to work, sent her home, and then fired her for having 3 sick days within the quarter.. I have a feeling that was a convenient way to fire her for what were really other reasons, but... In any case I find it absolutely amazing that people can display the type of drive and commitment that is necessary to pass all of their classes, attend their clinicals, and pass their boards but not have any drive to go to work on time or at all. It's bizarre.
  12. by   donmomofnine
    I know what you mean. I feel badly that we have a "no fault" absenteeism policy. Doesn't matter if you're hung over, or in the hospital with a sick child... a callout is a callout. Two episodes in thirty days time is considered excessive. I feel bad when someone brings in a doctor's note...it just doesn't matter!
  13. by   mariedoreen
    Quote from RN Rotten Nurse
    The solution to the problem is to set a number on absences (say 6 in a calendar year) in your policy. If one is absent that many times then he/she is automatically terminated. And stick to it!
    That's a little harsh... provision for doctor's note?? I mean we're not trying to punish those who really can't help the fact that they've caught a monster bug are we? What about mothers who have to call in to stay with sick children? A facility I used to work for finally just combined all the sick and vacation time together and said take it for whatever you want, whenever you want but when the time's gone it's gone. Lol, I imagine sometime soon big brother will be sending out the employee nurse liason to check up on people's call-ins.
  14. by   fiestynurse
    You need to count occurrences, not days. Also, if you are out for 3 weeks with the flu, your employer should provide you with FMLA paperwork. You can't fire someone for a legitimate lengthy illness like this, if it falls under FMLA. Taking care of a sick child could fall under FMLA, too. That's why any sick leave policy that you create should be reviewed by HR or your legal department.
    Last edit by fiestynurse on May 29, '04

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