How to Handle Employees Who Are Chronically Late or Absent

Written by promotiondept

September 24, 2018



Last Updated: May 4, 2018
t can be very frustratng when you have an employee who s frequently late or absent, but employee attendance problems always due to rresponsblty. Here’s help for dealng wth the stuaton.

Alarm clockWllam Shakespeare sad, “Better 3 hours too soon than a mnute late.” That mght be slghtly extreme—who wants to be 3 hours early to work—but the sprt of hs words hold true. How about the employee that seems to constantly have a reason to not come n to work and ther sck days are used up by February? As a busness owner you probably don’t have enough employees to let even an otherwse good employee get away wth even a small amount of lke ths so what can you do?

How are they Wred?

Maybe the type who doesn’t beleve n beng late. The few tmes t’s happened to you, t was a trauma that you would rather not see happen agan. t’s a truly horrfc experence. But those who are late probably dong t out of spte. t’s not some passve-aggressve ploy to get you back for beng such a terrble leader. t’s smply how ther bran works.

Scentsts found that there’s an area of the bran that handles these executve ks lke organzaton, plannng, mpulse restrant, and tme management. People wth ADHD, for example, tend to have problems n ths area of the bran. Others who have no dagnosable llness may also have defcences of some sort.

RELATED: The Hidden Costs of Presenteeism: Causes and Solutions

Be Compassonate

Compasson doesn’t mean excusng the t means that you’ll seek to understand t and develop a plan that takes the reason nto account. Maybe the employee s a sngle mom wth multple gong to multple places and t all hnges on a carefully orchestrated seres of events fallng nto perfect harmony. Anybody who has knows that smply leavng earler sn’t a possblty when dealng wth schools. Or maybe they’re bouncng from bus to bus to get to work.

Maybe they have a chld or another famly member wth a chronc llness and that’s why they so frequently mss work.

Let’s be honest—they may just be rresponsble, but before you fgure out how to handle the ssue, make sure you understand t. Smply tellng somebody to be on tme sn’t the answer f there are underlyng reasons why they’re always late.

s t That Bg of a Deal?

Maybe a rule follower. The rules say that they’re late at 9:01. f they arrve at 9:01 they mght as well be an hour late. There’s no dfference. By the rule book you mght be rght but does t really matter? f they’re n a role that requres them to be n place ready to deal drectly wth customers at 9:00, you have a pont but f t’s an offce job that sn’t tme senstve, s t that bg of a deal? Could you smply make a rule that they have to work an 8 hour day. f they start work at 9:05, they don’t untl 5:05? f they come n at 10, they work untl 6? Rules should be n place to solve a problem—not to justfy settng up a stc offce envronment that makes people feel undervalued.

Alternate Work Envronment

Remember how gong to fnd the cause of the problem before you start puttng repo n ther fle and “havng a talk” wth them? f there’s a reason for ther lateness or f they are callng off regularly, and they’re a valuable employee, maybe t’s tme to look nto an alternate work envronment. Maybe they could work at home f they have to care for a sck chld. There are plenty of ways to get creatve now that the nternet allows many employees to work from anywhere. And there are numerous ways to montor ther home productvty, too.

RELATED: How to Make Flexible Work Arrangements a Success for Your Business

How to Handle t

There are certanly tmes when you have to be a manager. For some jobs, t truly s a bg deal and even f t’s not, you can’t allow some employees to not follow the rules whle others do. From an HR perspectve, you have to dentfy the and gve the employee a verbal warnng. Ths s where you seek to understand why. f there’s a real reason, you work together to fnd a plan that works for both of you.

Second, don’t wat untl t happens a dozen tmes before you say somethng. Talk to them after 2 or 3 nstances. After the conversaton, document what you sad and the plan you came up wth. Have them sgn the document. Durng the conference, let them know that ths document s comng. Make sure the document outlnes any consequences for further problems.

Fnally, as you see them correct the , acknowledge the change. Remember, for people who wred for arrvng on tme, ths s exceedngly hard to do. They deserve a hgh-fve for that.

Bottom Lne

Some jobs allow you to be more flexble than others. When you have the opportunty for flexblty, and the employee s a valuable member of the team, t mght make more sense to set up an envronment that doesn’t rely so heavly on a structured work day. Many companes have successfully mplemented a flex tme model, but there are plenty of reasons why you have to put a stop to the problem. Handle t wth compasson but from an HR perspectve, heavly document n case you have to later let them go.

And by the way, f the type that has ssues arrvng on tme, comng down on your employees for somethng you do yourself sn’t gong to work. Lead by example.

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© 2016 Attard Communcatons, nc. All Rghts Reserved. May not be reproduced, reprnted or redstrbuted wthout wrtten permsson from Attard Communcatons, nc.

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