Last week I blogged about managers who short-sightedly block their employees’ internal transfers and promotions. Well it must have struck a nerve for many, because I received several emails and even a couple of phone calls on the subject (all of whom echoed my sentiments, by the way). It was during one of these phone conversations that another example of foolish short-sighted management practices came up. This one: managers who turn absence issues into performance issues.
Attendance does not equal productivity
Now once again, let me clarify. I’m not talking about the poorly-performing employee who, amongst other failings, is consistently absent without good reason. Yes, in that situation, it IS a performance issue. But what I am talking about are the short-sighted managers who equate attendance with productivity. The reality of life is that employees – good employees – get injured, have children who get sick, face vehicle breakdowns, and experience plumbing emergencies. And when that happens, what they really value is understanding and flexibility from their boss. Understanding that they didn’t choose to have this adversity befall them, and the flexibility to find alternate solutions that will allow them to deal with the problem at hand AND meet their responsibilities at work. If you are the manager who doesn’t get this, then you do so at your own peril!
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: attendance does not equal productivity. It is foolish short-sighted management practices such as these that completely demoralize and demotivate your excellent employees. Your good employees know what needs to be done (that’s why you hired them), and more often than not, they are fully committed to following through to completion. But when you insist on monitoring “attendance”, you have failed them, and quite frankly, you have failed yourself. It’s bad enough that they have to face some sort of calamity on the home front, don’t make it worse by turning it into a performance problem.
So … you know that I think this is a foolish short-sighted management practice. But I am open to hearing your point of view. Do you agree with me? Or do your experiences prove otherwise? Please share your perspective by commenting below.