This refers to workers who are absent for reasons that are beyond their control, like sickness or injury. Innocent absenteeism is not culpable which means that it is blameless. In a labor relations circumstance this means that it cannot be remedied or treated by disciplinary actions. The second type is culpable absenteeism. This refers to workers who are absent without permission for reasons which are within their control. To be culpable is to be guilty. In a labor relations circumstance this means that progressive discipline can be used (Guidelines for Absenteeism Control, n.d.).
The kind of absenteeism should be identified and attendance records should be looked at frequently to be sure that a workers sick-leave days are disproportionate compared to other workers. If a supervisor suspects that a worker is exceptionally absent, this can be confirmed by reviewing the attendance records (Yorges, 2011). If all signs show that an employee is excessively absent, the next step is to gather as much information as possible in order to get a clearer picture of the circumstances. The workers files should be looked at and the employee's direct supervisor should document all accessible information on the particular employee's history (Guidelines for Absenteeism Control, n.d.).
After all accessible information has been gathered, the supervisor should individually meet with each worker whom has been acknowledged as having higher than average or questionable absences. This first conference should be used to bring concerns regarding attendance to the workers awareness. It is also an occasion to talk with the worker, in some intensity, the causes of their attendance problem and possible steps that they can take to fix or control the absences (Guidelines for Absenteeism Control, n.d.).
If after the initial meeting, sufficient time and counseling efforts, as fitting, have passed and the workers absenteeism has not gotten better, it may be necessary to take further action. Further action must be handled with extreme care as a mistake in approach, timing or severity can be crippling from both an administration and labor relation's point-of-view. Figuring out whether re-training or disciplinary action is appropriate, depends on whether the employee's absences are innocent or culpable. If the employee's absenteeism is made up of both innocent and culpable absences, then each kind must be dealt with as a separate issue (Guidelines for Absenteeism Control, n.d.).
If it is determined that the absenteeism is innocent re-training will take place. The employee will be enrolled in a refresher course on company policies and procedures. During this class the entire attendance policy will be gone over in depth in order to make sure that the employee understands both the policy and the consequences for not abiding by it.
If on the other hand the absenteeism is determined to be culpable and the supervisor has communicated the attendance expectations to the worker, identified that the employee has a problem, has met with them as part of the attendance program, has made their worries on the specific absenteeism known and have offered counseling as fitting, if no improvement is shown, disciplinary procedures may be proper. The procedures for corrective discipline for culpable absenteeism are normally the same as for other progressive discipline issues. The discipline should not be detrimental in any way. The general procedure is as follows:
1. Initial Warning(s)
2. Written Warning(s)
4. Discharge (Guidelines for Absenteeism Control, n.d.).
In implementing the attendance interventions, the reality is that things will change for the employees of the call center. The ability to get these individuals comfortable with change rests in the hands of HPT (McCallaster, 2004). In order to maximize the best possible reaction to change, HPT will communicate the objectives of the attendance initiative with the appropriate members of the business unit and work group. Additionally, HPT will discuss this initiative with the leadership team to make sure there is support and buy-in from above. Obtaining executive sponsors increases the chance that change objectives will be met (Pershing, 2006). Finally, prior to meeting with the training audience, HPT will survey the supervisors to identify any areas of potential resistance. Based on this survey data, HPT and executive sponsors can design activities to address and mitigate potential resistance (Pershing, 2006).
Description of Performance Evaluation and Continuous Quality Improvement
The attendance intervention suggested for Hummel Insurance Company will be viewed as a success only if it meets its targeted objectives. In this case, there is a performance need to reduce absenteeism from an average of five days per six-month period to one day per six-month period. An ancillary goal would be to improve the timeframe in which phone calls are answered. These objectives can be assessed by utilizing a thorough evaluation process. Evaluation assures that the proficiency of the target audience is improved while holding all parties accountable and enhancing overall organizational quality (Pershing, 2006).
In order to effectively evaluate the attendance improvement intervention that has been suggested for Hummel Insurance Company, a formative evaluation is conducted to ensure that the intervention has the best possible chance of success from the outset. This includes seeking feedback from supervisors training leaders to make sure the design and content of the intervention are accurate and appropriate. Upon receipt of this feedback, the intervention is conducted with a pilot audience and feedback is sought out to troubleshoot training irregularities (Pershing, 2006). After the formative evaluation process is complete, it is time to roll-out the improvement initiative with the targeted group of supervisors. In evaluating the effectiveness with this group, the Kirkpatrick Model is implemented for the purposes of communication (Wang & Li, 2003) while advancing the Five-Phase Framework for Evaluation of HPT for intervention framing (Pershing, 2006).
The Kirkpatrick Model contains four levels of evaluation. Level 1 is participant reaction, level 2 is participant learning, level 3 is on-the-job change in behavior and level 4 is the final results of the intervention (Pershing, 2006). Immediately after the attendance intervention, supervisors are asked to complete a survey to collect their opinions of the exercise. In the end, the goal is to determine whether or not this was a valuable experience for the supervisors. On the next level of evaluation, data is collected from the training managers regarding their lessons learned. They are asked to what degrees have their process familiarity improved as well as what process ambiguities still remain. The third level of evaluation is arguably the most defining when assessing the effectiveness of the intervention. Attendance reports are initiated from the company's database to measure whether or not attendance is improving. Comparing data prior to the intervention with post-intervention data will indicate whether or not there is sustained behavioral improvement. Ultimately at level 4, there is a clear determination of how the intervention affects the bottom line of the business (Wang & Li, 2003). Accurate summation of this data throughout all four levels will provide a comprehensive evaluation of the intervention.
Overall, absenteeism costs American businesses more than seven billion every year (Employee Absenteeism, 2010). The return on investment for this intervention will be realized if after the intervention the employee absenteeism is reduced and the call answer time is improved. Evaluation is beneficial as it can be administered at each phase of the HPT process (Pershing, 2006). Utilizing feedback from all stakeholders would increase the likelihood that improvement will be sustained. While there are always barriers to improvement, sound evaluation methods would be implemented to provide value-added support to circumvent the obstacles while meeting the needs of the organization (Pershing, 2006).
Attendance problems will always exist in organizations. The key is turning these problems into opportunities that create sustained competitive advantage. Through utilizing the resources and knowledge of HPT, organizations are better equipped to continuously identify performance needs before irreparable damage is done. The advantage of having a strong HPT department is the ability to streamline the needs of stakeholders and implementing interventions that improve the organization on a holistic level. HPT ensures that performance is not assessed haphazardly as supported by the preceding models and processes. In the previously explored example, Hummel Insurance Company is able to significantly improve their employee attendance by implementing and evaluating a training system that meets the needs of its employees.
In the end the company wants to improve their absenteeism issue so that their customer services workers are more available to answer their customer's questions. If there are not enough call agents at work on any given day the staffing ratios are messed up and the calls do not get answered within the specified time frame that has been set down by upper management. This can cause unhappy customers and negative customer satisfaction surveys. Implementing the above attendance intervention will work to address the current issues and put procedures in place to improve business improvement performance for the company.
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