How to Handle Employees who are Always Late image

How to Handle Employees who are Always Late

Staff Squared date icon19th July 2018

Tag iconManaging staff

Are you constantly battling against late arrivals in your workplace? If so it’s time to do something about it. We all have those days when being late is unavoidable but if you have employees who are consistently tardy it can cause a number of issues – resentment from other colleagues being one of the most serious.

So how can you encourage your staff to get to work on time each day? On a deeper level, the key is to creating a positive environment where people actually want to come to work, but company culture is a topic best saved for another discussion as you need to start getting those latecomers to pull their socks up sooner rather than later!  

First, speak to those employees who don’t arrive on time. Do this privately – singling someone out will likely put them on the defensive and won’t leave you any closer to a solution. Ask what the problem is – if issues such as childcare are the cause, could you can work around this by allowing the employee to work flexi-time or even remotely? If, however, they just can’t seem to drag themselves out of bed in the mornings or offer up flimsy excuses such as “I’m just always running late” you’re going to have to let them know this is no longer acceptable.

Call a meeting with your staff and give them logical reasons why arriving on time matters. For example: when John is consistently late into the office, it means that Annie can’t get the daily numbers out to the team. Latecomers need to know how their tardiness is effecting collaboration and other team members or even departments. And if you do have an employee whose work has little impact on anyone else, you still have a strong case for arguing that they affect morale and cause resentment. They need to see that they have to be accountable for their actions – and that includes timekeeping.

During this meeting you need to let your staff know exactly what time you expect them to be in the office. It doesn’t have to be 9am sharp; you could give a small period of grace, and don’t forget to take things that employees have no control over such as traffic into account. But make it clear that strolling in 45 minutes after everyone else has logged on is no longer an option.

You could also ask staff for ideas on how to motivate themselves to arrive at work on time – for example, a month end lucky draw for those that arrived punctually every day. Prizes don’t have to be extravagant but should be an incentive. Perhaps the winner gets to leave an hour early one day, or earns coffee vouchers or even cinema tickets.

As for those who are still struggling with punctuality, you’ll need to monitor the situation and decide at what point you’re going to start taking disciplinary action.

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