Running Your Business

What’s an Employee Point System and How Could It Benefit Your Company?


  • An employee point system can help monitor attendance and absentee issues within an organization

  • When implemented correctly, point systems can motivate staff and increase productivity

  • Be sure to determine consequences for too many points as well as rewards for keeping little to no points during a cycle

Posted by November 30, 2018

It’s common for some staff members to occasionally take too much time away from the workplace, show up late, or leave early. However, if you’ve been dealing with recurring attendance issues within your organization, it might be time to implement an employee point system. Such a system can effectively help discourage tardiness and absenteeism.

Of course, when you introduce one to your organization, it’s important to make sure you don’t penalize other employees who routinely show up on time and rarely miss work. Here is an overview of a point system, as well as suggestions for recognizing colleagues who show good attendance habits while also keeping track of—and dealing with—individuals with negative records.

What Is an Employee Point System, Exactly?

While there are many ways to use a point system to track company metrics, they are most often used to monitor attendance issues. When employees miss work or do not adhere to their scheduled hours, they accumulate points (based on a predetermined scale).

When an individual gains too many points, they face disciplinary actions. In the same regard, employees who don’t earn any points—or keep a very low threshold—should be rewarded for their behavior.

Potential Considerations to Keep in Mind

Before implementing an employee point system, it’s a good idea to check state and local regulations so you can be sure it is legal to enforce. You wouldn’t want to put in all the effort to design a program only to find out it’s not in compliance!

Once you’ve been given the “all clear” to begin, consider your current issues and organizational structure. If absenteeism isn’t a problem, but tardiness is, you may only use the point system to track employees who are late to work. Every organization has different needs, so take time to consider what your current issues are. Policies can always be adjusted as time goes on, so start small and makes changes on an annual basis, as needed.

Next, you should determine a timeline of how points will be analyzed. Will this system run on a calendar year or with each employee’s annual performance evaluation? Do you expect such heavy accumulation that it would need to be monitored twice a year or even monthly?

Putting the Plan into Place

Once a timeline has been established, the next step is detailing what actions would cause employees to gain points and what can be done to lower points. For example, an absence of two consecutive days or more may count as two points, but if an employee brings a doctor’s note in upon their return, one point could be removed and the individual would only accumulate a total of one point for that time off.

Similarly, some organizations set up their systems so that two months without an absence can subtract a previously earned point from an employee’s record. The beauty of a system like this is that you’re in control of how it runs, and can be as strict or forgiving as necessary.

Finally, it’s important to list clearly what the consequences and rewards are for your company’s point system as part of the new policy. What will happen if an employee accumulates too many points in a short amount of time?

Rewarding Employees With Low (or No) Points

Point systems are usually created because an organization is facing absentee and attendance issues. However, that doesn’t mean one can’t also be used to motivate other employees! A potential reward that can inspire staff to habitually show up for work on time is awarding “free” time off at the end of the review period. For example, if an employee does not accumulate any points for coming in late over the course of an entire year, they could be awarded a half-day of leave (in addition to their normal paid time off) during their performance evaluation.

By implementing a point system, your company could benefit in many ways. Not only are you giving your staff something to work toward, you’re also increasing productivity. With less absentee and attendance issues to deal with, your staff will be showing up for work prepared and ready to tackle their daily duties.

Looking for other effective ways to support and motivate your coworkers? Explore the many options and offerings contained within United Concordia Dental’s Employer Toolkit.

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