When your staff is habitually late, your business suffers.
You might have customers that need taken care of, or you might have projects that aren’t getting completed.
Bottom line – late arriving employees eat into your profits.
In this article, we look at how to get your team to show up on time.
First, let’s look at just how much it costs you.
The Cost of Employee Tardiness
One study puts the cost of tardiness at $737 per employee per year.
Just imagine if you have 20 employees who are consistently late all year long? That’s a huge budget deficit.
To sum up the financial cost: if you have an employee who is just 10 minutes late each day, he will have used the equivalent of an entire week’s paid vacation by the end of the year.
Employee tardiness costs companies more than nine billion dollars each year.
To compound the problem further, the same study found the costs are much more than just financial.
The morale of a company’s other employees, who come to work on time, deteriorates when their co-workers are late. They are deflated, and work product plummets.
Co-workers often get upset at their team members lack of regard for punctuality. They also begin to resent their co-workers, especially if you aren’t doing anything about it.
Now that you know the exorbitant costs associated with late arriving employees, let’s look at how to get your team to show up on time.
Set Your Standards
• Document your policies. They should be clear to all employees and readily available to them.
• Communicate your expectations when employees are first hired. Have them sign an agreement that says they’ll arrive promptly every day. Then remind them at every staff meeting.
• Have regular, ongoing performance assessments. If you notice an employee who is consistently late, document it and talk to them about it during their review.
• Don’t ignore tardy employees.
• Stick to your policies and enforce them. The key is consistency here. If you do have to fire an employee, you must have the whole situation well-documented.
• Again, be consistent. Have the same expectations and policies for each employee.
• When first hiring an employee, discuss scheduling. If they request flexibility, be sure you offer this to all of your employees.
Now we’re going to look at some out of the box solutions to get your team to show up on time.
Whether it’s showing up on time to work or an important meeting, there are some unique tactics that can help.
• Let’s say you have a team of 10 people. If someone is late to work, call for the IOU rule. Team members who are late to work owe their co-workers something. They must compensate the entire team for their lost time. To keep this from hurting morale, frame it positively. Late employees must bring breakfast or lunch or take on an unwanted task. This will get them thinking about the real financial costs of arriving late.
• Reward your team members who arrive early or on-time. For example, offer a reward to employees who arrive 10 minutes early every day for the entire quarter. Give them a gift card to a restaurant, a two-hour lunch, the option to work one day from home, or give them an extra day off. These are incentives your staff will work for.
• Partner team members. Put a punctual staff member with a tardy one. Give them a project to work on and ask that they start it first thing every day. The goal is for the punctual employee to rub off on the other.
• Give tardy employees a first-of-the-day job. For example, if you always have Monday meetings at 8 am, have your usually late employees in charge of making the coffee or starting the presentation.
Set the Standard
If you expect your employees to arrive on time, then it’s a good idea to respect their ending time as well.
If you consistently have trouble with your employees arriving on time, you want to take a look at their usual departure time.
You don’t want to keep them past their scheduled leave time, especially if they are having trouble arriving on time.
Also, it’s up to you to set the standard.
First, you want to arrive to work on time. You are the role model for time management.
Next, you want to stick to the work day. If it’s 8-5, and you discipline late arriving employees, be sure you let them leave at 5 pm.
This shows a high level of respect for your staff and lets them know the end time is just as important as the start time.
So, you want to encourage a culture of punctuality.
We’ve outlined some steps for making it happen. We’ve talked about how to get your team to show up on time.
The final take-away for you is to remain firm and strong. Communicate with your employees. Know their struggles. Provide feedback and document everything.
Above all, handle your employees consistently. If it’s not okay for Sheila to be late, it’s not okay for Bob to be late.
Your culture of punctuality arises out of mutual respect for one another. It springs from a workplace that has high employee morale, policies in place and open communication.
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