Comment 87890

By H+H (registered) - website | Posted April 17, 2013 at 19:19:41

@Borelli I agree with you completely. I'll assume the burden for any confusion my piece has created. Cracking down on front line employees is precisely what should NOT be done, but the SMT is doing just that by using Attendance Programs to monitor employees. I'm not suggesting that attendance shouldn't be tracked, because I believe it should be.

What I am suggesting is that the reasons for absenteeism have more to do with what it feels like to work for the City than it does about on-the-job health and safety issues, although these can be factors is some, isolated, job-specific cases of course.

I was told by a mentor over 30 years ago, as a leader (manager) motivation is not something you put in, it's something you help to let out. High levels of absenteeism are likely caused by a lack of motivation. When employees feel less engaged than they would want to, it leads to all kinds of issues, sometimes resulting in absenteeism. You are right on the money, as far as I'm concerned, when you say poor management,poor leadership, and poor morale are the real issues here.

I was responding to the latest report to Council on employee metrics. This is the current topic showcased by the City Manager. Not me. I think we need to move this whole discussion up to talk about the three things you mentioned (management, leadership, morale). While I think the costs caused by absenteeism are worth noting, i think the resolution to the issue is not by getting tough on employees. We've all heard the line before - employee beatings will continue until morale improves. Exactly my point. We need to refocus on the right things. Sorry to have created the confusion.

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