Tardiness in the Workplace

December 21, 2017 Management

Repeating this behavior on a constant basis can be a good reason to terminate someone. As a boss, my advice would be to keep the lines of communication open with the employee and be firm with the regulations established in the workplace. Make sure you make clear what the consequences are for being tardy. Discussion In today’s tough economic times, managers are faced with reducing cost in order to compete with the ever more slim-lined business models of the world. One, not easy to control area of cost cutting, often left to be faced by management alone is tardiness.

Tardiness is one of the world’s oldest and most costly issues that a business can face yet there has been little evidence to show the ability to control his ever growing issue. 3 Tardiness can be a tedious task for managers to face; costing the company or department multiple hours of salary in direct and indirect costs associated an employee’s inability to complete their work. There are an unlimited number of reasons that an employee can provide for his or her arriving late.

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Some of the reasons are under the employee’s direct discretion, others such as illness or emergency not under the control of the company or the employee. After all, legitimate situations do arise, for example, a real bad car accident that blocked traffic for hours. The first step would be to make sure the employee is 100 percent clear of what his or her work schedule is. Any questions concerning this matter should be clarified and addressed. Keeping a copy and documenting that you have given a set schedule is important because it is proof that the information has been given.

When a tardiness issue arises, bring the problem to the employee’s attention. It could be that the employee simply pays little attention to time and does not realize there is a problem, or he may think that if you are not saying anything to him that you don’t notice or don’t care. Letting the employee know it’s an issue of concern is the first step and the first thing you should do to give them a chance to correct the problem. 4 Furthermore, if the employee continues to be late after the first warning, listen to the reason he or she gives for not showing up to work on time.

Discuss the matter with the employee, and explain why it is a problem. You can explain that it hurts the morale of the office by letting his coworkers see that their actions are breaking the rules, while they are doing their part to obey them. You can also explain how it impacts productivity. Ask the employee to suggest solutions to the problem. If the employee feels they are part of the process to find better habits, they will have more accountable than if they are simply being told what to do. During appraisal time it is also important to be as clear and concise as possible.

In addition, if the pattern of tardiness continues, be a realist and observe the situation from all angles. Staying calm, being fair and giving honest feedback is important. Some employees have other schedules to meet. For example, a parent might have a hard time getting their children to school and making it to work on time. Adjusting the schedule by thirty minutes could help the employee and their tardiness. Just be careful that arrival at the new start time is not also abused. Most importantly, always use official company corrective action measures.

Your company should have in place a formal process for discipline and notification of failure to meet rules. It may be a verbal warning for the first 5 offense and then a written warning and finally termination. If you go through the proper channels you will help the employee see that he should take this seriously and also help to cover yourself legally should the employee become upset if you must terminate his employment. Having the employee sign and read along with your signature will create a valid piece of documentation for future references.

As a leader, always set the proper example with your own punctuality. If you are not punctual and are consistently late, you set the example for your employees that this behavior is okay in the workplace. If there is a reason for you to be late, let your employees know ahead of time, but otherwise maintain a consistent and on time schedule so that they understand the expectations for the entire office. Tardiness means someone is not there and somebody else has to cover for them or the business suffers.

Treat all employees the same when it comes to lateness. When a really good employee suddenly starts coming in late, don’t ignore it Just because they’re so valuable. They may try to get away with things because they think you favor them. Other employees are watching this as an example. 6 Summary Tardiness costs companies a large amount in lost productivity. It must not be allowed to be part of the company culture. All it takes is mom planning using problem solving and decision making skills to bring tardiness down to insignificant levels.

As leaders, we expect employees to get to work on time. Occasional problems with traffic or family issues sometimes make employees late. But chronic tardiness is another thing altogether. While most employers track tardiness occurrences, we should always be willing to do more. By being consistent and documenting each occurrence then following up to see if the behavior improves. Often it does improve, temporarily. Then it’s back to the same old problem. Your documentation will be worth its weight in gold.


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