Fluid Power Journal

How to Draft an Effective Manufacturing Attendance Policy

How to Draft an Effective Manufacturing Attendance Policy

By Sheila Stafford, CEO, TeamSense

Creating an effective attendance policy that works for everyone in your manufacturing facility can be a tricky task. Whether you’re just starting to implement a new attendance policy or need some advice on how to revise it, it’s important to understand the elements of what makes an attendance policy successful and ensure that it is fair but also efficient. In this post, we’ll provide concrete steps on how to effectively draft an attendance policy in the manufacturing industry so you can keep your staff motivated and productive! Let’s dive in and take a look at strategies for making sure your factory runs smoothly with a comprehensive attendance protocol.

The Importance of an Effective Attendance Policy: Why It Matters

When it comes to running a successful human resource department within your manufacturing organization, you can’t underestimate the value of a well-structured attendance policy. It’s more than just keeping track of who’s in and who’s out – it has a direct impact on your company’s bottom line, work environment, and overall efficiency. Let’s take a closer look at some of the key reasons why having an effective attendance policy is so essential:

Operational efficiency

With production lines relying on the coordination of multiple employees, consistent attendance is critical for keeping things running smoothly. When employees are absent, the whole process can be disrupted, leading to delays and increased costs as the line struggles to meet demands.

Workload balance

When someone misses work, their tasks don’t simply disappear. Instead, their responsibilities often fall on their teammates, who must shoulder the extra burden. By having a clear attendance policy in place, you help ensure a more equitable distribution of work, ultimately contributing to employee satisfaction.

Stress reduction for leaders

Manufacturing supervisors and managers are under constant pressure to meet production targets, and unexpected absences can exacerbate that stress. A well-implemented attendance policy provides a clear framework for addressing attendance issues and helps reduce anxiety for those in leadership roles.

The Costs of Absenteeism: Understanding the True Impact

It’s easy to see that absenteeism can throw a wrench into your manufacturing operation, but the costs associated with it may be more extensive than you initially realize. Let’s break down some of the direct and indirect expenses that result from employee absences, as well as how they can affect your overall operations:

  • Direct costs: These costs come in the form of expenses related to overtime pay, temporary workers, or even hiring additional full-time staff to cover for absent employees.
  • Indirect costs: Absenteeism can lead to reduced productivity, lower quality outputs, and potentially missed deadlines. These indirect costs can have long-term consequences, affecting your company’s reputation and profitability.
  • Impact on overall operations: Frequent employee absences can create a domino effect that disrupts your entire production process. This may result in delayed shipments, strained relationships with suppliers and customers, and overall inefficiencies.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the actual financial impact absenteeism and tardiness has. When looking at ROI, it is often 10x more economical to address absences but utilizing a robust policy in line with a call-off system that works.

Point System vs. Non-Point System Attendance Policies: Which One Is Right for You?

Before we delve into the nitty-gritty of creating an employee attendance policy, it’s important to understand the two main types of policies that organizations can choose from: point system and non-point system policies. In this section, we’ll provide an overview of each approach and discuss some of the pros and cons to help you determine which one might be the best fit for your manufacturing company:

Point system policy overviewA point system assigns points to employees for absences, tardiness, and early departures. As points accumulate, employees may face disciplinary action or even termination, depending on your company’s policy.

Non-point system policy overview: In contrast, a non-point system evaluates each absence on a case-by-case basis. This gives management more discretion when it comes to determining the consequences of absenteeism, which can range from verbal warnings to written warnings or other disciplinary actions.

Point System vs. Non-Point System Attendance Policies: Pros and Cons

When deciding on an attendance policy for your manufacturing company, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of different approaches. Two common approaches are point system policies and non-point system policies. Here’s a deeper look at the advantages and disadvantages of each:

Point System Attendance Policies:


  1. Objectivity: Point systems provide a clear, objective method for tracking and evaluating employee attendance. Each absence, tardiness, or early departure is assigned a specific point value, allowing for consistent enforcement and reducing the potential for favoritism or bias.
  2. Transparency: Employees can easily understand the rules and consequences associated with accumulating points, helping to create a sense of fairness and predictability.
  3. Motivation: Since point systems often include consequences for reaching certain point thresholds, they can serve as a motivational tool to encourage employees to maintain good attendance.


  1. Rigidity: Point systems can be inflexible, potentially penalizing employees for unavoidable or legitimate reasons for absences, such as emergencies or illnesses.
  2. Administrative burden: Implementing and managing a point system can be time-consuming and require additional resources for tracking and enforcing the policy.
  3. Employee dissatisfaction: If not carefully managed, point systems may lead to employee dissatisfaction, as they can feel overly punitive or unsympathetic to individual circumstances.

Non-Point System Attendance Policies:


  1. Flexibility: Non-point system policies allow for more case-by-case evaluation of employee attendance, providing greater flexibility to account for individual circumstances and legitimate reasons for absences.
  2. Personalized approach: Managers and supervisors can use their discretion to address attendance issues, fostering a more personalized and empathetic approach to employee management.
  3. Lower administrative burden: Non-point system policies typically require less administrative effort to manage compared to point systems, as there’s no need to track specific point values.


  1. Subjectivity: The case-by-case nature of non-point system policies can introduce subjectivity and inconsistency, potentially leading to accusations of favoritism or bias in enforcement.
  2. Lack of transparency: Non-point system policies may be less transparent to employees, as consequences for attendance issues are not always as clearly defined as in point systems.
  3. Difficulty enforcing: Without a structured system in place, managers may struggle with enforcing the policy consistently and effectively, potentially allowing attendance issues to persist or escalate.

By carefully considering the pros and cons of point system and non-point system attendance policies, you can determine the best approach for your manufacturing company based on your unique needs and objectives.

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