Employers expect employees to be punctual in their work. Being punctual goes a long way in establishing greater workplace harmony and paves the way for establishing a better employer-employee relationship. Factors like excessive traffic, late running of trains or buses, or some unexpected family issues can sometimes make employees come late to work.
When these are not regular it is a non-issue but when coming late to work is habitual, then it becomes a serious issue and has to be nipped in the bud. Chronic lateness affects the workplace atmosphere and will contribute to significant time and cost implications that will have a negative effect on the company’s growth.
Being late regularly costs the company in payroll and has a negative effect on productivity. If this late coming remains unchecked it will set a bad example for other employees who may also be encouraged to start coming late for work. In this article, we offer tips to deal with habitual latecomers.
1. Frame proper ground rules
Establish a set of rules on coming late to work and communicate this to all the employees.
The policy should include:
• Employer expectations on the working time and the importance of starting work at the scheduled time.
• Avoid un-informed or non-approved late arrivals during work as this will disrupt the work atmosphere.
• Clearly define the consequences of arriving late to work.
• Decide on how to compensate for the time missed out by working extra during later working hours?
• The procedure for reporting late to work should include the details of the higher-ups who should be notified about coming late to work and when.
2. Take action immediately
When you identify a pattern of habitual late coming, don’t postpone speaking to the employee. The earlier you begin a dialogue with the habitual offender the better.
3. Talk to the employee and make your expectations clear
Sit with the employee and clearly explain what your expectations are and the consequences of coming late to work habitually. Present the facts and try to identify the reasons for the habitual late coming.
4. Set self-improvement goals
Once the discussion is over and you have explained your expectations and the consequences encourage the employee to set self-improvement goals. This should help the employee to break the habit and be on time or on the contrary you can suggest a reduced lunch break to compensate for the lost time.
5. Check for changes and show appreciation
Follow up on the discussion by encouraging the employee to overcome this habit of tardiness. Show that you care for his well-being and be appreciative of improvement in their habit. Appreciation sets the path for greater improvement and this may help to solve the problem.
6. Maintain a record of all discussions and interactions
Maintaining a record of the interactions with the employee will ensure that there are no miscommunications and leaves no room for any misunderstanding at a later date. Documenting the discussions and the steps taken to identify and correct the issues and the changes in the employee’s performance can be pinned to the employee’s HR file.
7. Enable automatic shutdown of the swiping machine after a particular period.
This is a very strict method used in some establishments. Activate automatic closure of the Swiping machine after the normal login time plus the grace time given for logging in has to be. If an employee reaches the workplace after the grace time, he has to get approval from the Manager/Supervisor and will be then allowed inside the premises using their password. This strict measure will ensure discipline.
8. Implement a ‘Send Home’ policy
Here the habitual latecomer is sent home when he or she arrives late for work. Warnings about earlier tardiness should precede this action. This will enable the employee to make a serious effort to reach on time as there is the fear that he or she would be sent home and would be marked absent.
Normally a grace period, say 15 minutes is given to every employee. If the employee doesn’t arrive within this grace period then he/she will be asked to go home. This ‘go home’ policy is a very effective tool in curbing the issue of coming late to the office.
9. Link punctuality with performance reviews.
Linking punctuality with performance reviews can also address the issue of habitual late coming. Performance reviews are important as it sets the tone for climbing up the ladder. Therefore, if your performance review is positive then the chances of moving up the ladder are greater. If you are a habitual latecomer it will reflect in your performance review and this in turn will negatively impact growth within the establishment.
10. Have a policy with a flexible work schedule.
Having a company policy that allows for a flexible work schedule is another option to handle the issue of habitual latecomers. For example, you can have a policy in place where the habitual latecomer is allowed to come late with the condition that this time is compensated during the day’s work schedule. This will help to avoid loss of working hours due to late coming. However, the problem with this policy is that when you allow it to one employee you should be prepared to allow it to others also.
Habitual latecomers harm the workplace and they may adversely affect the growth of the establishment. Therefore, it is in the interest of the employer to find ways to reduce this activity so that there is greater harmony in the workplace. The measures explained above will go a long way in reducing the issue of habitual late coming and set the tone for better employer-employee relationships.
GetifyHR, one of the leading outsourcers of payroll and HR management in this region has been able to guide our clients in successfully handling the issue of latecomers. Our solutions have enabled a large section of our clients to focus on core business activity thus enhancing growth. We are here to reduce the stress attributed to payroll and HR management.