A Blueprint for Success with Our Attendance Policy Template

Category: Crew | By Liz Allen | 3 minute read | Updated Jun 28, 2024
A Blueprint for Success with Our Attendance Policy Template

Every business is a unique combination of ideas, effort and teamwork, but every business has the same goal: to get in the black and grow. Field service businesses are the perfect example of the variety of niches small businesses can fill; despite the differences, there are many tried and true methods of gaining leads, securing cash flow and boosting productivity.

One of these methods is using an attendance policy template and adapting it for your field service business to get the best from your team. An attendance policy template outlines your business’s expectations when it comes to team scheduling and work hours, and is part of the rules for your crew.

But why an attendance policy, specifically?

Why is an attendance policy key for your trades team?

You may be thinking that an attendance policy template is just another bit of paperwork; really, all of your team should know to get to work on time! Well, that brings us to a significant issue facing businesses nationwide: time theft.

Stealing time at work, also known as time theft/time fraud, is an enormous productivity drain on American businesses. It costs businesses of every size and some employees might not even realise that they’re committing time theft.

An attendance policy template is the foundation to protect your business. An attendance policy template is the reference point that leads to good conduct and proper documentation. This offers legal protections if a disgruntled employee decides to challenge consequences handed down by your business.

You want as much documentation as possible and transparency.

A free download of our attendance policy template!

First of all, download our free attendance policy template and take a look.

Next, we’ll expand on some features and why we’ve included what we have on our attendance policy template.

The features your attendance template cannot miss

In our free attendance policy template, you’ll see we’ve filled out all the fields with examples of definitions, purpose, reporting and more. This is intended to be the base and inspiration for your field service business to develop an attendance policy that fits your needs.

There are certain things that must be covered for an effective attendance policy and response to any instances of schedule violations or time theft.

Defining attendance and punctuality standards

Clearly defining your standards is essential for your team to understand your attendance policies. Without a foundation, there’s no basis for the rest of your policies: murky interpretations can confuse and weaken your reporting.

Defining terms in your attendance policy template results in the entire team being on the same page. Clarity protects your business and ensures you have a clear path when addressing time theft. No one can argue that they didn’t know what tardiness or absenteeism is if it’s part of their onboarding.

It’s also necessary to remind the team that the standard your field service business sets isn’t for nothing: it’s to get the best out of the crew and effectively manage everyone’s time. No one likes having their time disrespected, especially at work.

Procedures for reporting absences

It’s key to outline how a worker can report their absences. No one will ever achieve a perfect record, and the most effective attendance policy templates make use of reporting guidelines. With the right reporting, if an employee already knows they can’t attend work, the sooner your business knows!

This means schedules can adapt, and your business can remain flexible.

Discipline system for repeated attendance violations

Our attendance policy template example uses a warning system to address schedule violations, using a system of verbal and written warnings; of course, it’s up to you and your field service business in how you address attendance violations and their consequences. Different instances have different effects, after all. One or two instances of tardiness in a 6-month period may warrant a warning, whereas repeated no-call no-shows need a decisive response.

Some businesses use a point system: each instance of tardiness, presenteeism, or unexcused absence has a number of points assigned to them, and some are worth more than others (definitely not in a good way.) Once a worker has ‘earned’ a certain amount of points, there is a consequence. This could include being excluded from wage increases, reduced overtime or, in the worst cases, termination. While this system is effective, it can discourage crew members as it focuses solely on demerits rather than encouraging workers to be consistent.

Warning systems such as verbal and written are harder to quantify, but leave more room for you and team members to engage. They still count as instances, but you want to ensure that an employee knows why they’re getting the warning and have a clear escalation system. With warnings, you can also reward workers who have few to no instances/absences with extra PTO or wage increases.

Addressing chronic absenteeism

Absenteeism has justified periods, such as a crew member experiencing an extended period of illness or emergency. It’s important to make the distinction when addressing absenteeism, but there is a limit. If a team member has patterns of absences and no clear reasons, having a well-defined attendance policy gives you a solid route to address the issue.

Workers could also display absenteeism for other reasons, such as low morale, burnout, or unaddressed problems. Warnings aren’t just a punishment but an opportunity for employees to explain why they’ve been absent. Unfortunately, some people are simply unreliable, but others could be going through a rough patch. With an attendance policy template, everyone on your team has somewhere to start.

System for tracking and calculating absence infractions

In order to address the above issues and assess when time theft is occurring, your business must outline the process it will use to track schedules, employee time and most importantly, how infractions will be calculated.

In our free downloadable attendance policy template, our example of tracking employee schedules and ensuring compliance is using time-tracking software to track employee movements and provide your business with real-time data on schedule updates.

Failing to clock in and clock out

This is an important one for field service businesses, as the industry's nature means your team will be on the go and spread out between different work sites. Ensure your policy covers how the crew should clock in and out with your chosen method, including manual punch clocks, kiosk clocks or software.

This also includes our pal ‘Buddy Punching’, where another team member is asked to clock in/out for another due to absence. Buddy punching is another common problem, especially for field service teams on the go, and even systems like individual credential systems like passwords and PINs can be shared with others.

While the issue has been around as long as punch clocks have existed, software like ClockShark offers more tools than ever before to ensure your employees remain accountable. Biometric security options such as facial recognition and fingerprints mean the right person is clocking into their shift.


What is a “good attendance” for a field service employee?

Field service employees with ‘good attendance’ are consistent. They show up to work on time and at the right place. They clock in and out when they’re scheduled to, take reasonable breaks and fulfill their duties within scheduled hours.

Good attendance isn’t just about getting to work; it’s about being reliable. If a team member can’t come to work, one with good attendance will notify their supervisor as soon as they can. They’ll schedule PTO in advance and have a doctor’s note for sick leave.

Good attendance is vital to include on an attendance policy template. You want to show employees that it’s not a system to punish them but a tool to ensure everyone can work effectively and benefit from productivity.

How should employees report unforeseen absences?

To make your attendance policy template effective, you need to ensure team members can easily report unforeseen absences. Many businesses require employees to call the office/direct manager to make sure the message gets to someone; while sending an email is also a good idea, it’s not as prompt as a phone call.

Another timely way to report unforeseen absences is using field service software such as ClockShark’s, where crew members are easily able to log in and notify their supervisor of their absence. With ClockShark’s ‘Who’s Working Now’ list, you can easily review who is present.

Do I Really Need an Attendance Policy Template?

Yes. Really really! It’s free!

Build a Strong Attendance Culture with Our Template

With your attendance policy template in hand (or in cloud, wherever it’s saved,) you’re another step closer towards an accountable and honest culture for your field service team.

It can be difficult to manage people on top of your trade work, but it’s simply another challenge that comes with a growing business! The most important thing is to be on the same page. So why not a policy page?

9,500+ companies use ClockShark to track employees and save time every month.

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