I’m a stickler when it comes to attendance, and my students and former staff are well aware of how irritated I get when someone is late, wants to leave early, or doesn’t show up without notice.
I think it is very important to start people on the right foot by being rigid with your attendance policy. Once employees or students feel you are lax in allowing lateness or frequent unexplained absenteeism to occur, your place of business or classroom will suffer.
Common courtesy around attendance involves informing those who you are reporting late to or not reporting to at all of your situation. I have had several people in both my academic career and professional career who have been late or absent a few times, but there is always a legitimate reason, and they always let me know ahead of time. As well, I have statistical evidence that shows that those who do not give notice of their lateness or absenteeism end up leaving school, failing courses, losing their job, or having further problems at work than the absenteeism.
What strategies have you employed in the workplace or classroom to prevent these situations from becoming problems? I’ll share more, as well as reader feedback, in a future column.