By giving bonuses for perfect attendance and taking standard corrective action with employees who are frequently absent, the Strux Corp. has reduced absenteeism by 17%, reports president David C. Kjeldsen.

Strux, a Lindenhurst, N.Y.-based manufacturer of polyurethane and electronic components with approximately 100 employees, started its attendance monitoring program in 1980 after Kjeldsen attended several seminars on the subject of absenteeism.

"The key to the program is paying well days, not sick days or personal days," claims Kjeldsen. Employees are credited with one-half to a full day's pay -- depending on length of service -- for each month of perfect attendance. In addition, a lottery is conducted each month, with $25 prizes given away to each of five eligible employees.

Standard corrective steps are taken with employees who miss a significant number of days in the year. For example, after the seventh day missed, a supervisor counsels and cautions the employee.

Following the eleventh day of absence, a top manager joins the supervisor and offers to arrange a leave of absence to help straighten out personal or health problems. At the thirteenth day missed, a final written warning is given, and the employee is told that another absence is ground for dismissal.