What Is an Attendance Write-Up? (3 Examples Included)

What Is an Attendance Write-Up (3 Examples Included)

Studies show that unscheduled absenteeism can cost businesses up to $3,600 per year for each hourly worker and $2,650 for salaried employees. This highlights the significant impact that attendance issues can have on productivity and profitability.

Moreover, a report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics points out that the average absenteeism rate across all industries stands at 2.8%, underscoring a widespread challenge for organizations.

In response, many companies have turned to formal attendance write-ups as a key strategy in managing these issues. By understanding how to effectively implement this tool, employers can address attendance problems head-on, reduce the associated costs, and foster a culture of accountability and excellence in the workplace.

What Is an Attendance Write-Up?

An attendance write-up is a formal document used to address and record violations of attendance policies, such as tardiness or unexcused absences. It outlines the specific instances of attendance issues, the steps already taken to rectify the situation (like meetings with supervisors or HR), and the consequences of failing to improve attendance

When Should You Use an Attendance Write-Up?

Maintaining productivity and managing workplace expectations can be achieved with the help of an attendance write-up. An attendance write-up should be considered by employers and supervisors in a few unique instances, each of which focuses on a different facet of attendance problems.

Persistent attendance issues

When someone keeps breaking the company’s rules about showing up on time or being present, it’s time to get serious with an attendance write-up. These issues can mess up the team’s flow, bring everyone’s spirits down, and slow down the work we all share.

Before jumping into a write-up, it’s crucial to have all the facts straight—like making sure we’ve noted every late arrival or no-show. This ensures the employee knows what’s going on and why it’s a big deal. Taking this step does more than just fix the problem at hand; it sends a clear message to everyone at work that being dependable and on time is super important.

Unexplained absences

When someone doesn’t show up for work without giving any reason, it’s a big problem, especially if their job is key to what the company does every day. These no-show moments can throw a wrench in plans and make things harder for everyone. Using an attendance write-up in these cases is a way of saying, “Hey, this is serious.” It’s a nudge for everyone to remember to talk to management if they need time off or can’t make it in. This record is also super important for keeping track of what’s going on, helping HR and management make fair calls about what to do next if this keeps happening.

Pattern of tardiness

When someone is always running late, it’s more than just a minor annoyance—it shows they might not be fully on board with how things are done. This kind of habit doesn’t just slow them down; it throws off the whole team’s rhythm and can mess with our overall game plan. Writing them up for it isn’t about getting them in trouble; it’s about making it clear we need to fix this together. It gives them a chance to share their side of the story and us a chance to lay out how important being on time is. Plus, it’s an opportunity to work out any kinks that might be making it tough for them to punch in on time.

In all these scenarios, the goal of an attendance write-up is not only to address the immediate issue but also to encourage better communication and to find ways to support the employee in meeting attendance expectations. It’s a step towards ensuring a committed and punctual workforce, critical for the success of any organization.

Benefits of Implementing Attendance Write-Ups

There are several advantages to using attendance write-ups in the workplace, and they have a big influence on employee behavior, corporate culture, and overall productivity. These documents are tools for encouraging a more accountable, transparent, and productive work environment in addition to their disciplinary purpose.

Employee accountability

Attendance write-ups inherently promote employee accountability by formally recognizing instances where an individual’s attendance record deviates from company standards. This process makes employees more conscious of their punctuality and presence, understanding that their actions are monitored and consequential.

By linking attendance with accountability, employees are likely to prioritize their time management and commitment to work, knowing that repeated infractions could lead to disciplinary action or even impact their career progression.

Documentation for HR and management

For HR and management, attendance write-ups provide a clear and organized way to track and manage attendance issues. This documentation is crucial for identifying patterns of absenteeism or tardiness, facilitating a fair and objective evaluation process. It also ensures that any disciplinary actions taken are well-founded and consistent across the organization, essential for maintaining fairness and legal compliance in employee relations.

Improved communication

The process of issuing an attendance write-up typically involves a discussion between the employee and their supervisor or HR representative. This interaction opens a direct line of communication, allowing employees to explain their situation and managers to express their expectations clearly. It can uncover underlying issues affecting attendance, such as personal problems or workplace dissatisfaction, and provide an opportunity to address them constructively.

Performance management

Attendance write-ups are an integral part of performance management, helping to align individual behavior with organizational goals. By addressing attendance issues promptly and formally, managers can mitigate their impact on productivity and team dynamics. This approach ensures that high standards are maintained, and employees understand the role their punctuality plays in the success of the team and the company at large.

Employee development

While the immediate goal of an attendance write-up might be to correct undesirable behavior, it also plays a role in employee development. It serves as a learning opportunity, prompting employees to develop better time management and professionalism. For some, it might be a wake-up call that triggers significant personal growth and a more serious approach to their career.

Overall workplace harmony

Finally, the consistent application of attendance write-ups contributes to overall workplace harmony. When employees see that attendance policies are enforced fairly and consistently, it fosters a sense of justice and respect within the team. It prevents resentment that can arise when some team members feel burdened by covering for others’ absences or tardiness, leading to a more cohesive and cooperative work environment.

How to Write an Effective Employee Attendance Write-Up: A Step-by-Step Guide

There are several advantages to using attendance write-ups in the workplace, and they have a big influence on employee behavior, corporate culture, and overall productivity.

Step 1: Identify the issue

Begin by clearly identifying the specific attendance issue. Is it unexcused absences, frequent tardiness, or leaving early without permission?

For example, if an employee has been late three times in the past month without a valid reason, this is the issue to address.

Step 2: Gather relevant information

Collect all necessary information related to the attendance issue. This includes dates of absences, times of tardiness, and any previous warnings.

For instance, if the employee was late on March 1st, 10th, and 15th, note these specific dates and any relevant circumstances or previous conversations about their punctuality.

Step 3: Choose the right time and place

Select a private, neutral setting for discussing the write-up, and ensure the timing does not interfere with critical work tasks.

For example, schedule the meeting in a quiet conference room at the end of the workday to avoid embarrassment and minimize workplace disruption.

Step 4: Use a professional tone

Maintain a professional and respectful tone throughout the write-up and discussion. Avoid accusatory language.

Instead of saying, “You are always late,” frame it as, “We have noticed several instances of tardiness.”

Step 5: Detail the attendance write-up

Clearly detail the attendance issue within the write-up, including specific examples.

For instance, “On March 1st, 10th, and 15th, you arrived more than 30 minutes past your scheduled start time without prior notification or a valid excuse.”

Step 6: Specify expectations

Outline what is expected of the employee moving forward, providing clear, measurable goals. 

Example: “Going forward, we expect you to arrive on time for your scheduled shifts. Tardiness should not exceed five minutes unless previously discussed with a supervisor.”

Step 7: Provide a copy to the employee

Give the employee a copy of the write-up. This ensures they have a record of the discussion and the expectations set forth.

For instance, after the meeting, hand them a printed copy of the write-up to review on their own time.

Step 8: Follow-up

Schedule a follow-up meeting to discuss progress and any ongoing concerns.

For example, set a date one month from the write-up to review the employee’s attendance record and address any further issues.

Examples for Attendance Write Up 

Creating an effective attendance write-up is crucial for addressing and correcting attendance-related issues in the workplace. Here are examples across common scenarios such as tardiness, absenteeism, and violation of break policy, providing a clear blueprint for crafting these documents.

Example 1: Tardiness

In this example, an employee has been consistently late over the past month, affecting team productivity and project timelines.

Write-up content:

To: [employee name]

Date: [date]

Subject: Attendance Write-Up for Tardiness

This letter serves as a formal write-up for repeated instances of tardiness observed over the past month. Despite previous verbal warnings, you have been late on the following dates: [list dates], with delays ranging from 15 to 45 minutes past your scheduled start time. This behavior disrupts team activities and impacts project deadlines.

Expectation going forward: Consistent punctuality is expected, with arrivals no later than five minutes past your scheduled start time. Failure to meet these expectations may result in further disciplinary action.

Example 2: Absenteeism

Here, an employee has had several unexcused absences, which hampers the workflow and places additional burdens on their teammates.

Write-up content:

To: [employee name]

Date: [date]

Subject: Attendance Write-Up for Unexcused Absences

This letter addresses your unexcused absences on [list dates]. These absences were not reported in advance nor justified with appropriate documentation, leading to significant disruption in your team’s operations.

Expectation going forward: You are required to inform your supervisor at least 24 hours in advance of any planned absences and provide documentation for unscheduled absences in accordance with our attendance policy. Continued unexcused absences may lead to further disciplinary actions.

Example 3: Violation of break policy

In this scenario, an employee takes longer breaks than permitted under company policy, reducing effective working time.

Write-up content:

To: [employee name]

Date: [date]

Subject: Attendance Write-Up for Violation of Break Policy

We have observed that you have consistently exceeded the allotted 30-minute lunch break by 15 to 20 minutes on several occasions [list dates]. This violation of company break policy affects your productivity and disrupts the schedule of the workday.

Expectation going forward: Adherence to the 30-minute limit for lunch breaks is mandatory. Monitoring will continue, and failure to comply with break times will result in further disciplinary action.

In each of these examples:

  • the write-up clearly states the issue,
  • lists specific instances of the infraction,
  • sets clear expectations for future behavior,
  • and outlines the consequences of failing to improve. 

This structured approach ensures that the employee understands the severity of the situation and the steps needed to correct it.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, an attendance write-up can be a great tool for preserving productivity and order at work.

Try to be as transparent as possible with the employee in question about the issue in order to produce a write-up that works. Describe the company’s attendance policy, the future expectations, the penalties for not improving, and so on. Delivering the write-up in a courteous and professional manner is preferable, with the goal of encouraging understanding and progress rather than merely punishing.


What is an attendance write-up?

An employer can formally document and handle an employee’s attendance concerns, such as persistent tardiness, unexcused absences, or breaking company attendance regulations, by using an attendance write-up. It acts as a formal notification to the staff member that their attendance practices have been unsatisfactory and that they must change right away. This document, which is a component of the disciplinary procedure, attempts to promote future improved compliance with attendance regulations.

When should an employer use an attendance write-up?

When there are ongoing problems with attendance that disturb the work environment, depress team morale, and reduce production, employers ought to think about utilizing an attendance write-up. Frequent early departures without permission, a tendency of tardiness, or repeated inexplicable absences are a few examples. It’s imperative to have recorded the employee’s attendance issues and informed them of the company’s standards about attendance before sending out a write-up.

What should be included in an attendance write-up?

An effective attendance write-up should include:

  • Employee information: Name, job title, and department.
  • Issue description: Detailed account of the attendance issues, including dates and times of absences or tardiness.
  • Policy reminder: A summary of the company’s attendance policy, highlighting the specific rules that were violated.
  • Previous discussions: Any prior warnings or conversations about attendance issues.
  • Expectations for improvement: Clear and specific expectations for how the employee can improve their attendance.
  • Consequences of non-improvement: Outline of potential disciplinary actions if the attendance issue does not improve.
  • Employee acknowledgment: Space for the employee to acknowledge they have read and understood the write-up, often including a signature line.

Including these elements ensures the write-up is comprehensive, clear, and fair, providing a solid foundation for addressing attendance issues effectively.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Related articles

Jun 21, 2022

10 Types of Counterproductive Work Behaviors

Feb 4, 2022

Effective Team Workload Management

Feb 25, 2022

The Future of Outsourcing As We See It in 2024