Habitual employee tardiness can wreak havoc in a business. Although it may seem to be a minor problem when an employee is a few minutes late for work, it can have ripple effect that hurts productivity and impact your company’s bottom line. If ongoing employee tardiness is occurring in your business, it is important to take steps to stop or reduce it.
The definition of employee tardiness is being late for work, in any increment of time, whether it is one minute or one hour. An employee who is just pulling into the parking lot at the designated time the work day starts is tardy. It may seem that this is drawing too fine a line, but tardiness in any degree has an impact on productivity – and profits.
How Tardiness Can Affect Your Business
When an employee is late for work, it affects more than that person’s individual productivity. Obviously, the tardy employee’s job is not getting done when he or she is not present. Additionally, coming in late creates a flurry of activity that can reduce the focus of other employees, leading to an overall decrease in productivity.
When an employee is habitually late and not getting started on work tasks on time, you are not getting what you paid for. Add to that the time spent dealing with an employee who is continually late, and tardiness is costing your company money.
What to Do about Tardy Employees
Employers have recourse in dealing with tardiness. The following tips can help you manage the problem.
Use Software to Track Time and Attendance
Time tracking workforce management software lets both management and employees easily see a person’s attendance history. This is much more effective and efficient than manual or non-automated time systems that may take too long to identify a problem or show the degree of severity of the issue.
Establish a Clear Attendance Policy
Do not simply print up your attendance policy and hand it out or include it in an employee manual. Be certain that every employee understands what it means to be tardy, why it matters, and the consequences.
Your attendance policy should set penalties for tardiness, with penalties progressing in severity the longer the employee continues to arrive late for work. For a first offense, a tardy employee should receive a verbal warning consisting of a reminder of the employee’s work hours and management’s expectations.
If the problem continues, a written reprimand and explanation of what will occur if tardiness continues may be required. If the employee persists in coming in late, you may need to place him or her on probation. This step should include a warning that the employee could be terminated if tardiness continues to occur.
1. Enforce Your Attendance Policy
Even when a policy is clear and understood by all employees, you still must enforce it or it loses its power. It is important to consistently and invariably enforce your attendance policy for all employees.
2. Act Fast to Address Tardiness
Address every incident of tardiness as quickly as possible. Let the employee know you are aware of his or her tardiness and address it. This becomes more difficult if you let too much time pass.
3. Be Proactive in Dealing with Tardy Employees
If you have an employee who is habitually late, be proactive and communicate. In addition to enforcing your company’s attendance policy, talk to the employee to find out why the tardiness continues to occur.
The underlying situation may be something beyond the employee’s control, such as a health condition or the necessity to drop children at school. If that is the case, a more flexible schedule or time off from work may solve the problem. Discuss it with your employee and come to an agreement on a solution. Our employee scheduling software can help you easily manage shifts of all sizes and can be customized to suit all types of industries and employee schedules.
4. Recognize and Reward Improvement
Just as there are penalties for employees who fail to follow attendance policy, there should be rewards and recognition for those who comply. When an employee who has been consistently tardy makes an improvement, be sure to notice it, acknowledge, and reward it.
Take Control of Workforce Attendance and Scheduling
Incidental tardiness is sometimes unavoidable, such as a car accident on the way to work. Habitual tardiness, however, is an act of disrespect that can have a ripple effect across the entire company. It is important to your company’s productivity and profitability to have the software solutions you need to track and control employee time and attendance.
The severity of employee tardiness depends to a large extent on what actions management takes. Having the right human capital management software can give you real time visibility into your workforce and provide automated time and attendance tracking to take the burden off HR. The right system can help you control tardiness, reduce labor costs, and get the highest level of productivity from your workforce.