Supervisor Consistency

I work in an environment with a strong labor Union.  I administer the Attendance Program and Corrective Rehabilitation Program through 42 supervisors.  These supervisors report to 15 superintendents and assistant superintendents.  One of my biggest challenges is getting these 42 supervisors to apply the rules of the Attendance and Corrective Rehabilitation Programs consistently.  I have preached repeatedly, apply the rules/directives the same to your good employees and your poor employees.  Do not protect your good employee simply because you like him/her.  Do not let your employees slide without documenting the breach of the rules. I still have supervisors, assistant superintendents and superintendents do not follow the rules.  They want to talk to the employee, but not document what has happened.  Subsequently, some supervisors follow the rules and move their employees through the programs.  Others have nobody in the programs.  My big concern is terminating employees and the Union filing EEOC complaints because of a lack of consistency.  If there are three minorities fired during a 9-month period, it becomes a trend.

 Do others struggle with this same problem?  Have you developed approaches that stop or limit this type of problem?


  • 5 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • You need management support in order to enforce your policies. DEMAND MANAGEMENT SUPPORT!
  • Keep in mind that Supervisors and Superintendants need consistency, too.  Those who aren't following the rules are subject to disciplinary measures, too.  I would rather have an angry supervisor than a quarter million dollar judgement because someone didn't feel like they needed to document their actions.
  • We utilize an Absentee Report form - when an employee is absent, late, or leaves early one must be completed.  If the Supervisor does not complete the form then when time cards are turn in and there is not an Absentee Report for that absence or etc... we complete one and send it out to be signed.  We have calendars on the computer for each employee and absences and etc.. are logged on the calendar.  When absences and etc... reach excessive we first send out an Incident Report for the supervisor and employee to sign warning the employee the next absence will result in a written warning.   We have a union in our facility also and one department in the plant tends to play favorites until someone is just way out of line on attendance then they want to fire them.  The above procedures has made all the difference in the world.  You must have upper managment backing (I am upper managment) and when the supervisor fails to do his job he and his manager have to answer to me and our CEO as to why they are not following the labor agreement and company policy.

    I hope this helps you!

  • We are not a union shop, but we do operate under an Attendance Policy.  Recently, I too had the problem of the policy not being applied equally among the supervisors.  The way our policy is written, it is a "no-fault" policy - if you miss, you get attendance points.  The excepts are things like FMLA, jury duty, military duty, etc.  For anything else, the absence has to be excused by either the VP or HR.  The supervisors are not authorized to excuse an absence.  If they change a timecard, the explanation has to be written on the card as to why. 

     The success that I had in making this point taken seriously is a very strong e-mail from our General Manager (top mgmt at our division) sending an e-mail explaining that the Policy would be followed to the letter or the Supervisor stood a chance of being disclipined up to and including discharge for not following policy.  Everyone has been following the Policy to the letter since then.  So, my advise is to get upper mgmt buy-in - and get it communicated to the supervisors.

  • It is really imperative that you close this large easy access for a lawsuit. I would hope based on your size that your timeclock is interactive with a computor system. My favorite system automatically flagged and printed a daily report of who was late and or absent, I tracked and filled out all the nessary paper work. Another place I was at utilized an attendance point system, the employees keep superintendants honest on this one. This really did correct the attendance and late prblems in the manufacturing industry. Tough group but it was tied to money. It cost alot more in the past because of absentees.No matter what system is in place it has to be supported from the top, in the manufacturing it was. It was simple any manager or superintendant not following through on company policies was dismissed on grounds of putting the company assets at risk. A lawyer started this company and still owns it today.
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