3 simple steps to boost the attendance of employees who are serial latecomers

Dealing with late employees, or workers who do not work all of their contracted hours, can be a challenge.

An employee who regularly underworks can dampen team morale as others have to work harder to pick up the slack. It can also affect your bottom line.

A Harvard Business School study of more than 25 million employee shifts found that a 1% increase in lateness and absenteeism is associated with a 2.3% decline in daily sales.

Tardiness can cost your business money.

Knowing how to deal with a serially late employee can be hard. However, tackling with the problem quickly and effectively can help to achieve a better end result for both you and the employee.

Read on for three simple steps to help you deal with employees who are late and don’t work their hours.

1. Address the problem early and communicate your expectations

If you notice an employee is starting work late or not working their allocated hours, talking to them about the problem early can be advantageous. Catching the problem quickly helps to establish that this type of behaviour is unacceptable and can make it easier to find a solution.

If you don’t address the problem early, it could lead to the employee becoming more relaxed around other aspects of their work.

When talking with the employee, make it clear exactly what the problem is, and refer to company guidelines around lateness. Use language that can’t be misinterpreted and present evidence to support your case.

2. Respect your employee’s privacy within reason and set goals

Though you may want to find out what exactly is causing your employee’s tardiness, don’t demand that they tell you why they are regularly coming in late – it could be due to personal reasons.

If the employee’s lateness is unavoidable due to their personal circumstances, try working together to find a solution to the problem.

Possible options could include:

  • A shorter lunch break
  • Finishing work later
  • Implementing a flexible work schedule.

Once you have discussed the employee’s lateness, set goals and expectations for when, and for how long, they should be working. This gives your employee clear targets and leaves no room for misunderstanding.

Ensure that you keep notes of the conversations you have and any resolutions. It could be beneficial to summarise your conversation in an email and send it to your employee so that they have their next steps in writing.

3. Check in regularly and praise improved performance

After you have spoken to your employee and come up with a plan, it can be important to check in with them on a regular basis.

This allows you to keep an eye on your employee’s working hours and establishes that any lax working hours will be picked up on and discussed in the future. If your employee works remotely, consider implementing digital tools to make keeping track of their working hours easier.

Hopefully, your employee’s lateness and working hours will improve. If they do, be sure to acknowledge it. Offer your employee praise but do so in a private setting to avoid drawing attention to the previous problem.



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