Attendance Bonus

Do any of your companies offer an attendance bonus? If so, how does it work? I've seen job ads that state attendance bonus paid but have never worked for a company that offered them. Thanks


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  • Hate to see you go without a reply, Katy Lu, but I haven't had any direct experience with them either. You might do some poking around over on the FMLA board - I can't say I understand it well, but I believe an employee that is on FML complicates attendance bonuses.

    Good luck, and welcome to the forum!
  • We offer an attendance bonus at the end of the year to employees with perfect attendance but we do not advertise this practice. Our criteria for perfect attendance is that an employee must not be absent for any reason other than pre-arranged vacation and personal time. Of course FMLA is not counted against them. We give $50 to employees with perfect attendance and out of about 150 employees we get maybe five with perfect attendance.
  • Katy, we did have a discussion recently on this topic, but I can't find it right now. The past few months we had a big project we had to do requiring a large number of temps and trying to get full time ee's to be faithful in attendance. We did two things, gave out gas cards (coupled with the rising price of gas) and had weekly cash drawings. Those who lived at least 15 miles from work and showed up every week day received a $25 gas card. Those who worked at least 44 hours during the week had their name put in a hat for a $50 drawing. Not sure how effective it was. The gas card idea originally was to convince full time workers to move from our main facility to a temporary facility we set up 25 miles away. But, we ended up giving them to anyone who lived 15 miles away, even new hires. It seemed it was the same handful of ee's each week that were eligible for the $50 drawing, the rest didn't seem to care. Just my experience.
  • Ray: That hardly seems fair to include only those who live 15 miles away from work. Certainly you don't think those who live less than 15 miles from work walk do you? I travel six miles one way to work and have to stop at the gas station quite often. I would include everyone in this drawing whether they walk, drive, or ride a bicycle. If I'm not included then the incentive for perfect attendance doesn't mean much. Just my opinion because I know if we did it the way you do we would have some very disgruntled employees.
  • [font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON 08-27-06 AT 11:34AM (CST)[/font][br][br]You're right. We in HR and the Mfg Manager were opposed to it for the very reasons you state. It was the Mfg Director's idea and the CEO liked it - we were overruled. And it applied only to those working in our temporary satellite facility, not the main plant - I was very surprised people at the main plant didn't complain. The gas cards originally were an incentive to get people to transfer from the main plant to the temporary plant because it meant they would have to drive further than they normally did and the gas card would help offset the additional travel costs for them, but the Mfg Director expanded the program to include even temporary new hires. The weekly drawing was for everyone in the satellite plant and was meant to encourage them to show up every day and put in some extra time. As it turned out, we didn't have any disgruntled ee's, but I don't think it really achieved the goal of improved attendance.

    You mentioned typically only 5 out of 150 ee's qualify for your end of the year perfect attendance bonus. Same experience here, out of the 60 or so people eligible each week for the drawing, it usually was the same 5 that qualified. The rest didn't care.

  • Ray: We too have the same people year after year qualify for our perfect attendance awards. The awards don't seem to be much of an incentive for people to come to work. Perhaps in this day and age we all just have too many things to do that unfortunately must be done during working hours--not to mention getting sick and having to go to the doctor who doesn't keep evening hours.
  • Too many things to do, or skewed priorities?

    There are doctors who have evening hours and invariably someone from 2nd shift will have an evening appointment while the ee on 1st shift had a mid morning appointment. Why is that?

    At the risk of sounding like a moralist, it seems there are a larger number of young single mothers today compared to a generation ago who tend to miss alot of time due to issues with children.

    Many young people just out of high school taking entry level jobs have no sense of responsibility, they don't understand *why* we expect them to show up for work every day. They didn't have to show up for school every day and they got by. What's the big deal?

    So, we are reduced to awarding for good attendance. And us older guys wonder why we have to reward people for behavior that should just plain be expected. Hey, the concept of overtime premium is the reward for working over and above what's expected.

  • Hi Katy

    We have had a program called "Perfect Attendance". Employees that do not miss any work during the course of 1 month - unless prearranged/vacation/fml - receive 2 paid hours to use any way they please the following month. If the employee chooses not to use the time, they are allowed to accrue it, but must use the accrued time off before the end of the year. The total time at the end of the year equals 3 days. They can use these 3 days on top of any vacation they have. It's a nice program, but we are getting rid of it. There's lot of room for abuse by supervisors mainly due to supervisors not tracking the time consistently. One supervisor might be excellent at it, but another might be more lackadaisical about it & still put his/her people up for the 2 hours. I'm sure there are ways to tighten this up...
  • We are a County government agency and we provide 8 hours of earned personal leave if an EE does not use sick leave for 182 days (6 months). An EE may earn 16 hours of this type of leave per year. We do not count FMLA related leave.
  • We USED to offer a sick leave "drawing." For each month that an employee was not out sick his/her name was placed in a raffle drum. Therefore, an employee could have his/her name in the drum for a maximum of 12 times. At our Christmas party seven names were drawn for prizes. The total "pot" was $2,000 with first prize being $1,000. This cut down tremendously on absentism. Then came FMLA....

    We now allow employees to convert a portion of their sick time to vacation at a rate of 50%. This can only be converted the first payperiod each year. The more sick time an employee has the more they can convert. This has replaced our sick leave drawing and our perfect attendance and has been well received by employees, especially those who use little sick leave.
  • Hi, Katy Lu

    We offer an attendance "incentive". $100 for each 6 mos of perfect attendance (use no sick leave and can't take day without pay). We have 37 employees and maybe I pay it to 1 or 2 employees; problem "children" are still problems!

    Good Luck

  • In a past job (manufacturing facility) we provided all employees 5 sick days per year (granted each January 1st). However, each sick day the employee had remaining on the books at the end of the year was worth $50. If they had all 5 remaining, we paid them $$325. We beleived that getting someone to work, producing product, would be well worth the cost of paying out sick time at the end of the year.The first year we implemented it, we paid out money to about 15 employees, out of about 400 total. I would personally go out on the floor and hand them a separate check, in front of their peers- which stirred up a bit of envy, as designed, especially right around Christmas time. The second year we paid out money to about 35 folks, and the third year we cut checks for about 60 folks, several of which got the $325. So it was rather effective at curbing sick leave use.(At least for three years. I left after the third year it was introduced). Not sure if it ran afoul of FMLA, but it seemed to produce results.
  • I am curious as to whether anyone tracked overall sick leave usage by the people that did not receive the check. We had an employee at me last place of employment who would come to work with the flu or other similar conditions and brag to his supervisor about not missing work. The problem was that he would “infect” several other people who would then be out sick for several days.
  • Believing that many of our employees view not using sick leave that is available to them as loosing part of their benefits, we pay out any remaining sick leave on the books for the year after the last payroll for the year is processed. Employees who leave prior to year end are not elibible for the payment.

    We still have a large number of employees who use all of their sick leave benefits - especially staff with families - but for those who come to work it is an extra check at year end when most everyone can use the money.
  • I guess I'm just getting a little cranky in my older years, and really have a problem with the concept of an attendance bonus. Of course I realize times have changed and we practically have to beg some of our worker to show up for work. It seems to me that we're trying to provide an extra reward for what we should routinely expect for our workers. Several years ago at another firm, I implemented an attendance factor to the point system we used for performance measures. Rather than bonus points or bonus monies for good attendance, we deducted points from the attendance category when there was an unexcused absence. While this did not solve all of our attendance problems, it did improve in a number of instances since performance/merit raises were based in part on the performance score. I wonder if anyone else has tried something like this? If so what was the outcome.
  • I am still in the camp that thinks attendance bonues serve no real useful purpose, are band-aids approaches to the real core problems and give management an "out" on dealing with absenteeism.

    I have never seen or read of vital stats that support paying attendance bonuses in any industry although probably somebody out there has some. If so I would like to see the metrics of such an operation.

    Regular, punctual attendance is just a fundamental part of being employed. The opposite means you are a former employee. Just that simple to me.

    Rewarding people for something as fundamental as coming to work seems to me to be folly and poor management.

    Never have done it in 26 years of HR and I doubt I ever would entertain putting in such a program.

  • We pay a quarterly perfect attendance and an annual perfect attendance. Pay starts at $50.00 per ee and goes up to $120.00 per quarter. The more people with perfect attendance the more the pay out. Draw one name annually for an additional $2500.00 from those who had perfect attendance during the previous year. We don't count approved vacation, jury duty or bereavement leave either. Usually pay 50 to 100 ee's quarterly. 8-10 on an annual. Had one ee who went 15 years with perfect attendance.
  • We have a program in place that allows employees to have perfect attendance for each quarter.(No sick time or unpaid time off)They receive a $25.00 American Express Gift Check. This allows them to have an absence in the next quarter, but perhaps the next quarter they may not have any absences. At the end of the year, anyone that had perfect attendance for the whole year has not only received $100.00 in gift checks, but then also gets 2 vacation days added to be taken in the next year. This program runs from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31. Hope this helps.
  • I am opposed to attendance bonuses. Attendance is an expectation and should be a requirement of continued employment. In my opinion, bonuses generally are a "reward" for "above & beyond" type behaviors. But I do certainly believe that we reward those behaviors we want to see more of; just not using money, per se. One thing other employeers do is offer a payout of unused sick leave at the end of each year. That really helps cut down on the "mental health" days. We've also done recognition for perfect attendance, but we rewarded with publicly recognizing them in say a newsletter or bulletin board, and given them a gift card, balloon bouquet, or something like "dinner & a movie" (gift certs to restaurants and video rental stores or movie theatres). It depends on your population and culture and what motivates. But we know that money is not the long-term motivator; where a bonus excites them once, it most likely won't again. That's why we mix up the gimme's, and we don't put it out there as a goal to work toward. Again, attendance is minimally expected, so, we arbitrarily pick the timeframe (generally at some point at the end of a 12 month period) and we pick the gifts, different every time.
  • Thanks to everyone for your comments. I don't think that perfect attendance awards do much to improve attendance. It does reward those who make an effort to come in every day any way. (And sometimes they affect other employees with the flu.)

    What I was kicking around was to "cut" an hourly employee's 2007 increase in half. And make half of it dependent on the previous month's attendance. For example, if we were going to give an employee a 4% increase, they would get a 2% increase in January and an additional 2% if the previous month's attendance was good. However we define "good."

    Trying to be creative and legal.

  • Not to put a damper on anyone's good intentions, but there are two issues to keep in mind.

    First, bonuses like this, over $25 in value, are taxable income. The only way I have found around this is to offer clothing/promotional items with the Company logo in them -- they are not taxable because they are promotional items.

    Secondly, these types of awards/bonuses (when they are cash awards or have a dollar amount assigned to them, such as gift cards) need to be used to figure an employee's base pay rate for overtime calculations. I cannot find any way around this, because the DOL has set the rules to discourage loop holes.

    I like some of the ideas above -- extra excused/paid time off may be the way to go.

    And yes, I am for attendance awards -- it is an easy to measure and identify good behavior, and why not reward that?
  • First, you may want to say "postpone" not cut.
    Also, who is going to keep up with all this data? I don't have time. Also, what about the other 11 months of the year. Are you going to measure only the prior month? what about the rest of the time during the year? or is this rolling? When you award a merit increase, one of the items that should be considered is attendance. Therefore, whatever you give a person should have that as a factor anyway.
    E Wart
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