By: Katherine Muniz Feb 19, 2015

7 Ways to Address Tardy Employees

A quick search on the internet will yield plenty of articles on how to get your employees to work on time. While at first glance you may feel like you have a wealth of content to choose from, after a quick skim it becomes apparent that many of the suggested methods are both unrealistic and uncomfortable.

From “gently” reminding employees of the start time of their day, to holding meetings to discuss the importance of punctuality, and even going so far as to leave notes on employees’ desks, these practices can quickly plummet employee morale.

Luckily, there are ways to motivate your employees to come to work on time. If you’re noticing late punches in your time clock software, here are a few practical and effective recommendations on how to address employee lateness. 

Make it an environment they want to be at

The average employee spends a whole lot of time at work, and with statistics reporting longer and longer work hours for the average American, creating a positive atmosphere for you and your workforce has never been more important.

There are lots of incentives you can offer your workers, but the most beneficial make your employees feel recognized, rewarded, and appreciated.

Talk to them one-on-one

There are a number of reasons your employee may be arriving late – perhaps they are not a morning person or they may have extenuating circumstances like having to drop their child off to school.

Call them in for an informal talk and ask whether there is anything in particular preventing them from coming in on time, and if you can help them in any way. Depending upon their circumstance, you might be willing to compromise and adjust their schedule.

Be fair but firm

After meeting there are many “next steps” you can take.  You can tell them that if the lateness continues, you will be forced to begin docking their pay for the minutes they miss and no longer be able to accommodate them to make up the time they lost. If you take this tactic, cushion the blow by expressing how valuable they are to the team and how much you need them – this can create authentic motivation for them to make it in on time and keep up the good work.

Consider your model for on time

On the flipside, you can adjust their schedules in a number of way. You can allow them to start fifteen minutes later, or during a broader window of time and allow them to leave later depending on their start time. If you want to cut your employees a little slack, why not cut out strict hours and instead try implementing rounded punches?

Originally invented to sidestep the problem of multiple employees lining up at the punch clock, rounded time tracking curb punch time entries to the nearest punch, which can help your employees make better time. FingerCheck’s time clock software has rounding capabilities that allow administrators to set up customized rounded time entries.

Offer team rewards 

Consider setting team goals in exchange for rewards. For instance, if everyone comes in on time for a whole work week, you can reward them with a free team lunch or casual dress days.  You can even increase the stakes and offer bigger incentives for longer stretches of punctuality like upgraded work gear, or offer things like gym equipment or video games for office breaks. A healthy dose of peer pressure might be just the thing to get your employee(s) to come in consistently on time.

Offer individual rewards

If you’d rather offer individual rewards to employees that have great attendance, you can consider adding extra vacation time for substantial periods of punctuality or recognize their positive work performance in other ways you see fit.

Find them a mentor

It can be difficult for employees to confide in their boss without feeling like they are compromising their professionalism or showing weakness. Assigning experienced and friendly mentors to various employees can provide an outlet for sharing their challenges (such as their constant tardiness. These relationships are healthy and therapeutic, and finding a good mentee/mentor match can pay off in dividends.

Whatever approach you end up taking, you can set up alerts within FingerCheck to be notified each and every time an employee shows up late. Taking advantage of this feature is an effortless way for you to stay on top of your company’s attendance. Dealing with late employees is never fun, especially when you’re worried about compromising your positive team relationships.

However, by treating your employees with kindness and building solid channels of clear communication, you can begin to identify what is behind their frequent tardiness and work together to improve their attendance and employee engagement. 

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Category: HR

Katherine is a New York-based digital writer who joined Fingercheck in 2015. She promotes Fingercheck through the power of the written word. She graduated from Fordham University with a B.A. in Communications and Media Studies with a focus on Journalism. Connect with her on LinkedIn

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