No matter whether you are a part of a big or small organisation, you expect your employees to be punctual. At times, certain unavoidable factors could be the reason for their lateness, for instance, getting stuck in the traffic jam. That’s fine as this isn’t something that happens everyday. But, if some employees have made it a habit to come in late everyday, then that’s surely a problem.
As the manager, it’s your responsibility to set such employees straight so that the general office etiquette and culture is maintained. Below we’ve given a few tips as to how you can deal with employees who are always fashionably late.
- Set rules
Rules and regulation are very important in a workplace. Your employees should know what is expected out of them in terms of work responsibilities and conduct. So make sure that you have explained all the rules and policies to your staff when they start working with you. Ensure that you cover the following questions with them:
- What are the work timings?
- How their time spent working will be tracked (for example punching in a time reporting machine, using swipe cards or signing an attendance sheet or using clock cards)
- What would be the consequences of arriving late?
- How would they make up for the time they have missed?
Make sure that all the policies are applied fairly and impartially on all the employees. Also, these policies should be flexible enough to accommodate certain sensitive situations.
- Keep a record of their tardiness
Many a time, employees try to justify their reason for being late by saying ‘it was just a couple of minutes’. Be it just a few minutes or more than that, the fact remains that they are late. If they are not told to rectify this and be more punctual, other employees will get inspired by it and it will affect their punctuality just because they see the defaulter getting away with it everytime.
So to prevent this situation, keep a record of their tardiness. Try to identify their late coming pattern. For example, if someone is constantly late by 20 minutes, then record that. This way you have proof of their lateness when you confront them. For that, you can maintain a sheet in your system for late comers or or just jot it down using a promotional pen.
- Discuss it personally
If an employee is regularly late, then meet him/her personally to discuss the matter. For that, always choose a private location so that they feel comfortable discussing their problems with you. You can also explain to them the consequences of their lateness in the workplace and how it will affect the work environment.
Make sure, you are having a conversation with such employees before the problem becomes excessive. Finding out the reason for their lateness and helping them resolve it goes a long way in maintaining a healthy work environment.
- Ask for suggestions
If an employee has personal reasons for being late to work, then figure out some solutions. For example, if a female employee is always late because the daycare doesn’t open early or if an employee has a long commute to reach work, you can make the work timings a bit flexible. It means if the work timing is from 9 to 5, you can give them an extension of an hour by making it 10 to 6.
Nowadays, providing flexible work timings are all the rage which is why companies should look into it.
- Take formal disciplinary actions
If an employee is still late for work even after you’ve applied the solutions mentioned above, then perhaps it is the time to take an action against them. Initially, you can just give verbal warnings and inform them of the consequences that will be reflected in their pays by way of deductions. And, if the warning doesn’t work, then you can take the required actions against them. After all, maintaining a healthy work environment is as important as anything else.
Also, make sure you are handling the late comers according to the rules and policies of the office and not taking it personally.