How To Stop Your Staff Being Persistently Late

Businessman holding a pocket watchAs a manager, you may try to be fair and reasonable, and always treat your direct reports the way you’d want to be treated. As such, you don’t reprimand them in public, inquire about their personal lives, and go out of your way to be their mentor. However, there also comes a time when a manager needs to step up, and, no matter how hard it may be, act as a boss and deal with an issue. A common problem that managers often have to address is having employees come in late to work. While once or twice can be easily explained and accepted, coming in late on a regular basis should never be tolerated. While this will not only disturb job flow, it will send a message to the other staff that this kind of behaviour is acceptable. Therefore, if you have one or more team members not showing up on time, use this advice to stop it once and for all. Revise Company Policy – If an employee has a hard time coming to work on time, it can be a habitual issue that she simply refuses to deal with. You have likely already sat down and addressed the situation with her, but, chances are, that hasn’t helped. Therefore, you have racked your brain for how to fairly deal with this situation. Employees need to follow rules, but those rules should be clearly spelled out and enforced. The first step that should be taken to prevent this behaviour is to revise your company policy. Update your employee handbook to include guidelines for coming in on time. State any exceptions to that rule, and policies for breaking it. For example, you can include that the first time will be a warning, the second time a fine, and the third time can lead to a suspension without pay, or even termination from work. Install Time Trackers – Not all supervisors require their staff to sign in and out when coming in, or leaving work. This could be the very thing that is leading to lax behaviour on the part of the staff, believing that ten or fifteen minutes will not play a role in their arrival time. To enforce your new company policy of timeliness, follow up with easily measurable strategies that tracks it. Otherwise, you will have to spend your time checking up on every single employee to make sure they are at their desks on time every morning. Offer Positive Rewards – While reprimanding and punishing employees for being late can significantly alter their habits, another, more positive, strategy to try is to reward them for coming in on time. This is especially beneficial when many team members have timeliness issues, or you have just adjusted your policy to be more strict. Offer small rewards for staff who continuously come in on time for a period of three months. Offer a catered breakfast, additional time off, or simply the inclusion of their photo on a poster you created that will show their dedication to work in front of the entire company. Managers often have the hard job of monitoring and regulating their employees’ behaviour. When it comes to being late, this needs to be stopped right away, as not doing anything about it will create the belief that your organisation is fine with a lax start time, causing further issues down the road. Many Thanks Mark Williams Head of Training and Development

MTD Training   

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Updated on: 11 August, 2015

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