Itching to try out some new camping gear her family recently invested in, Janet requested a number of Fridays off throughout the summer months, creating long weekends to go camping at the beach. As she requested the days off in advance, the majority of her requested time off was approved. However, some of her coworkers had already requested and been granted vacation on the same days Janet wanted off, and Janet was denied those days, the company operating on a “first come, first serve” basis for scheduling vacation.
When those weekends rolled around, Janet seemed to always have a cold, or a stomach bug, or some family emergency that prevented her from working her scheduled shifts. One weekend, Janet posted a number of photos to her social media account of her and her family swimming in the ocean and laughing around the campfire when she was supposedly suffering a severe allergy attack. The following week, Janet’s supervisor, who was already highly suspicious of the convenient timing of her illnesses, was made aware of Janet’s posts and promptly delivered a record of discussion, reiterating the company’s attendance and vacation policies, and warning Janet that subsequent abuse of the system would result in a written warning.
With summer kicking into high gear over the next few weeks as the weather continues to warm up, this scenario is one that managers see a lot of. Employees making up fake illnesses and creating all manner of excuses to get out of work to enjoy the sunshine is common over the summer months. While we cannot control the actions and behaviors of our employees, we do have the power to ensure that policies are in place to clearly communicate expectations and consequences.
Make sure that you have a PTO or vacation policy in place that outlines the process for requesting and scheduling time off. Additionally, your Handbook should have a section on absenteeism and tardiness, communicating processes for reporting absences or tardies, how the organization will deal with excessive absences, and what constitutes job abandonment.
Managing the summer months doesn’t have to be stressful for your organization or department. When your employees are aware of what is expected of them, are mindful of what the consequences are for violating policies, and when those policies are consistently applied, you can help ensure that everything runs smoothly during this time of year when everyone is antsy to get outside.
Contact HRCentral today for a review or update of your current Employee Handbook to ensure your polices are compliant and communicated effectively.