A number of factors can result in a situation in which an otherwise
conscientious employee will be late for work on occasion. Employers
do not normally see occasional tardiness as a serious problem. However,
a chronically late employee can be a serious problem for a manager,
and a drain on the department's resources, and a strain on the morale
of co-workers. A chronically late employee can be:
A bad influence on co-workers [who may emulate his or her inappropriate
behavior if they see or if they believe there are no consequences
for not arriving on time.]
The cause of an uneven flow of work, and missed deadlines
If not addressed promptly, an employee who is only occasionally
tardy may become chronically late - and a worker who was typically
only a few minutes late may arrive progressively later. A supervisor
should address the tardiness problem head on. Some potential solutions
Schedule staff meetings first thing in the morning.
Establishing deadlines for assignments for first thing in the
Warn the employee that tardiness will factor negatively into
his or her next performance review and compensation increase.
Assign the problem employee to less desirable work, less prestigious
work, or work on a less desirable shift.
Issue and document a verbal warning.
Issue and document a written warning.
Demote the employee, temporarily or permanently. If permanently,
a decrease in compensation is usually appropriate.
Suspend the employee for one or more days without pay.
Terminate the employee [since a chronically tardy employee reduces
the effectiveness of the department and disrupts its smooth operation].
One final thought: A supervisor should also keep a record of all
discussions, correspondence [including e-mails] and warnings relating
to a tardiness problem. The supervisor should include times and dates
of these discussions, as well as details relating to the tardiness
problem including dates and arrival times.