Practical Ways to Address Employee Tardiness

Although managing employee tardiness is a relatively simple affair, if mishandled it can become complex quickly. We’ve asked one of our regular contributors, Darren Nelson, to provide his thoughts on the subject. Darren’s response is listed below.

When one of your employees begins arriving late to work on a regular basis, your first thought may be to act and discipline them immediately. Although addressing the situation at an early stage will go a long way towards eliminating the problem, there may be an underlying reason for the change in their behaviour and you should take steps to understand why they’ve started coming to work late and deal properly with their tardiness. As with all situations such as this, a consistent and fair approach is required and while each company will often adopt a unique approach, below are some simple practical tips that should assist irrespective of the specific company, industry or location that you work at.

 Practical Tips:

1. Make sure you keep a record of the number of times the employee arrives late.

2. Meet with the employee to discuss their tardiness. Be sure to re-enforce performance expectations. Remember to keep written records of all the meetings.

3. Explain to the employee how their lateness is affecting their performance and productivity, as well as any effects it has on their team, internal and external clients.

4. Discuss any external factors that may be impacting on the employee and causing their tardiness. Agree on a time-frame for the employee’s return to satisfactory performance.

5. Consider, with the employee, whether there is anything you could reasonably do to help them meet their job requirements.

6. If at the conclusion of the meeting a formal warning is required, provide the warning in clear terms. This may need to be in writing.

7. If the situation continues you may need to consider more serious disciplinary action. Such disciplinary action should always be determined in consultation with a Human Resources Professional and / or Employment Lawyer.

8. When addressing employee tardiness, ensure that you are following a transparent process. This will give you a long term solution and allow you to deal with all instances of employee lateness in a consistent manner.

This article was written by a special guest contributor, Darren Nelson. Darren is an Associate of Henricks Consulting and the Managing Director of Global People Solutions P/L

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