Some people just run late and it just doesn’t seem to matter what they do, but the circumstances of their lives, whether it’s children, taking public transportation or just plain disorganization contribute to an occasional tardiness. In such cases, if the employee is otherwise outstanding, and unless the job requires for a critical reason that they be exactly on-time, most business experts recommend leaving the issue alone. However, there are times when a habitually late person is not only illustrating his own dissatisfaction with his workplace, but is beginning to affect the work habits and morale of others. In these cases, you need to pay attention to the situation before morale suffers.
Occasional tardiness is unavoidable. Traffic delays, for example, or unexpected personal problems affect everyone from time to time, so business owners shouldn’t overreact every time an employee shows up late. But habitually tardy employees are a burden on the rest of the team.
An employee who often strolls in long after others have begun working is disrespecting both his colleagues and the business owner. Further, if the employee who is late needs to be there for a project to begin, everyone on the team is held up. Bottlenecking means one employee’s tardiness slows work for everyone.
Building a reputation for reliability and prompt service is an integral component of strengthening relationships with clients and other businesses in your community. When your employees are tardy, these late arrivals can throw off your company’s schedules, cause delays in deliveries and allow important phone calls to go unanswered. This can affect the profit levels of your small business as customers look for another, more dependable company to provide goods and services.
As a business owner, you must set policies regarding timely arrival for work, including the consequences for continually arriving late without a valid excuse. Act decisively to stop rampant tardiness. Draft a clear policy and enforce it whenever necessary. Positive reinforcement also can promote timeliness. Failing to enforce disciplinary policies regarding tardiness can cause employees to lose respect for you as a business owner and may encourage rule-breaking behavior in other areas of your company.