For example, an employee working on a project who is late 10 minutes each day for a week loses nearly an entire hour of work. But when it comes to chronically late employees, placing responsibility where it belongs, setting boundaries that everyone is aligned on, and changing your paradigm when necessary goes a long way toward fostering a work environment that’s good for everyone. Habitually late employees don’t make any effort to come in early to work, influencing others indirectly with their behavior. However, if employee lateness starts becoming a habit, you need to take action. While there are many reasons that someone might be late for work occasionally, frequent tardiness is a bad habit and there is the expectation that the issue should be addressed so the behavior can be changed. An employee who is constantly late … Being late is stressful, but for many, it beats the alternative. Negative Morale. Big Brother is Watching. An employer must ensure that the employee is aware that there is a problem in the first place so a series of warnings should be used. As a manager, nearly every employee I had was late to work at least once—including me—but there were a few who pushed the envelope and made it a habit to not be on time. Coming to work late is so common that, according to this CareeBuilder report, 29% of workers arrive at work late at least once every month. Your employees are your company’s most important assets and to some degree, their success depends on them showing up to work on time. Employees who are always late can throw off the productivity of an organization, as well as have a negative impact on morale. Warnings to employees for being late. Other employees might get the wrong idea if the latecomer isn’t apprehended. If another employee needs the late person to do his project part, he may lose nearly as much work time despite being punctual. Here’s how I handled them. There could be numerous reasons why employees are late; childcare issues, a traffic accident, medical or health, worked late and overslept… the reasons could be endless. Employers expect their employees to come to work on time and to understand that being punctual and reliable is important to the employment relationship. This not only boosts the organizations culture, but also boosts engagement among employees. Workers who chronically miss work or show up late risk being let go, forcing employers to go through the time and expense of hiring and training replacements. Is the employee late the same day every week, is it more than one morning a week, do they always come back late from lunch, or is it a block of days they are late? Always Late? However, what happens when employees are late to work and blame it on "life." Frequently late employees may lower everyone's morale. Depending on what is in the employee handbook, or in any relevant workplace policy, an employee should be warned at least once in writing before dismissal is even considered. After all, they’re only human. 9 Tips for Overcoming Chronic Lateness. Go over employee time sheets. Further complicating matters is the cost of having to pay another employee to fill in, especially if short staffing forces management to pay that individual overtime. I hate to get all 1984 here, but this was the first lesson I learned when dealing with an always-late employee. Is the employee 5 minutes late to work every day? 1. Habitual lateness can decrease quality, result in fractured work relationships with colleagues, and potentially even cause the company to lose customers. All employees are going to be late once in awhile. Hence, taking prompt action is encouraged once a pattern is identified. 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