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5 ways to deal with an employee who is constantly late

Late coming can cripple a business especially if it’s constant. In this regard, you need to focus your attention on any late coming employee to salvage the situation before it gets out of hand. 

Late coming can cripple a business especially if it’s constant. In this regard, you need to focus your attention on any late coming employee to salvage the situation before it gets out of hand. We’ve all been there, you’ve missed your train, missed your alarm, your baby didn’t sleep last night, so you woke up late or had a minor accident on your way to work among other issues. It’s okay to be late but not always.

There is the group of people who will come in late, explain the situation and apologize while there is another breed of employees who would show up late and proceed to the workstation as nothing happened. The latter is what you need to take care of before it becomes a blow to your company. In many cases, managers find it difficult to deal with these employees because they don’t want to come out as micromanagers or be on the bad books with fellow employees. Nevertheless, it’s pretty easy to handle the situation without coming out as an insensitive micromanaging business owner. Here are five ways to deal with an employee who is constantly late.

Alert them of their lateness

Sometimes employees who consistently come late assume that nobody notices it and therefore make it a habit. In this regard, showing them that you noticed them come late might change their perception of lateness and try to improve going forward. In order to make this effective, ensure that you approach the employee as soon as they get into the office and start a conversation. You can talk about your previous projects, projects coming up or project timelines among other work-related issues.

When at this, ensure that you do not do it in a way that you embarrass your employee. Do not call them out for being late in front of their colleagues. Instead, just have a simple conversation so that in the back of their mind they can notice that you took notice of their arrival time. Another way of doing this is having a personalized handshake for every employee in the morning as they get into the office.

Be compassionate

If after the first step the employee still comes in late, take this one step further to discuss their lateness. Just like the first point, approached them soon as they get into the office and have a word with them regarding their lateness. However, in this situation, you won’t be the one talking but rather trying to understand the situation. Offer your ears to the employee to understand why they come in late.

Again, do not embarrass them in front of their colleagues but rather call them to your office or to a nearby cafe for coffee. You approach matters a lot here, so do not approach them as if you are condemning them but rather trying to help them solve the problem. In most cases, employees will be having an underlying issue whether personal or professional such as being undervalued in the office or missing some essential work-related tools. Whatever the case is trying to solve it and see how it goes.

Set the rules

If after resolving the problem the employee still comes in late, you need to take the situation to another level where you exercise your powers as a manager. Call the employee and discuss their lateness issue to get that with the HR department and outline the set rules in regards to lateness. Ensure that you follow up with an email copied to HR department for future reference.

Come up with a formal procedure

After setting up the rules, ensure that the employee understands the consequences of breaking these rules. In fact, come up with a formal procedure that will be followed in case the employee comes in late again. Again, ensure that the HR department is notified of the record.

Take action-be fair and flexible

When everything doesn’t seem to be working out, you need to go the extra step of handing the employee the defined consequences of the set rules. However, ensure that you are fair and flexible when doing this. For instance, if there is an opportunity for working from home or a flexible schedule, try to check it out as long as you use an automated time management system to record the employee’s time.

All in all, ensure to be fair and compassionate because most employees who are late are apparently having issues in the workplace that are beyond their control. Once you resolve the problems, there is a higher chance that they might become more involved in the future.


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