One day, an employee shows up late for work, saying he gets caught in a traffic jam. The next day, the same employee apologizes for coming late because he had a flat tire on the way to work. Maybe you can tolerate him for coming late the first one or two times. But what if the employee keeps this behavior for weeks or months – without showing any intention to change? In such a case, when is it warranted for HR leaders to step in?
When employees struggle to arrive on time for work, it’s important to identify and fix the underlying issue so as to avoid creating a toxic culture that normalizes lateness. Be it ten or thirty minutes, there is no doubt that employers will find it annoying upon noticing an act of tardiness, even occasionally. Moreso, this behavior could manifest into habitual tardiness which will affect company’s performance and work culture in the long run.
Owing to this reason, these are 3 recommended ways to fix this issue as HR leaders:
Address the situation early
Upon learning someone has called in late for work, immediately initiate a chat with them. The earlier you take action against this behavior, the more it shows that such a tardy display is not appreciated in the workplace. Even when it is an employee’s first time coming late, or if it is really out of their control, a dialogue is important so that both you and the employee share mutual understanding. Never wait until the problem has escalated, because silence could only mean you are encouraging the behavior.
Read Also: 5 Types of Difficult Employees
Communicate clearly and kindly
When discussing tardiness, HR leaders should never infringe an employee’s privacy. If they refused to publicize why it is hard to come in on time, do not insist on knowing. Instead, you can adopt a different approach by referring back to the employee’s contract. By reviewing the employee’s job desks, both the HR leader and employee could set straight the goals and consequences of not following the company’s policy.
Evaluate attendance policy
Most companies have rolled out their own version of attendance policies, including a rule on occasional and habitual display of tardiness. It is HR’s responsibility to make sure that every employee submits to the company’s policies. On top of that, HR leaders should also be clear with the consequence of not abiding by them. The penalty could range from a warning letter to salary deduction to encourage discipline among employees. Vice versa, you should also reward employees who show excellent performance. For tips and considerations when drafting attendance policy, go to this link.
At the end of the day, the majority of employees are striving to fulfill their commitment and duties. With the exception of genuinely tardy employees, now and then again, people will always come across unforeseen events or mistakes which prevent them from arriving at work on time. These incidents can be handled without causing much problem for coworkers hence should not be HR leaders’ concern. What should be paid attention to, on the other hand, are instances where a tardy employee is disrupting a healthy working culture which will eventually affect the company’s performance and productivity.