Employee tardiness can become a huge issue for companies if not tracked and addressed. Though it may not seem like a big deal if an employee is ten minutes late for a shift or takes a long lunch break, these instances can easily add up to lost productivity. Tardiness not only impacts your bottom line, but it can also have an effect on productivity and overall employee morale. The key to combating poor timekeeping is to have an effective tardiness policy in place that tracks and identifies tardiness patterns so that management can effectively address them.
Tips on Implementing a Tardiness Policy
The best types of tardiness policy is one that keeps everyone in the loop. These types of policies should not be seen as ways to punish your employees, they should instead spur communication. Here are a few tips on establishing a policy that benefits all.
Consider Using Time Tracking solutions
How do you currently track tardiness? If you require your HR team to manually go through clock in and clock out sheets or tend to just take note when you witness a tardy, you miss the big picture.
Consider using an absence management system that automatically notes any absences and tardiness and tracks it for you. The best types of systems will also track any patterns that may occur. This can help you identify if employees are more likely to be tardy on certain days of the week or if more shifts experience this type of behavior than others.
Include it in Employee Onboarding
Effective policies are ones that are fully explained. Communicating the importance of timekeeping should be a goal for new employees as well as those who have been with you for years.
When you onboard employees, include a section on how tardiness affects the company as a whole. Tell them about the system you use and how you’ve made it easy for them to communicate with HR to avoid tardiness and manage their schedules. Make sure you present the policy as a win-win and not as a way to control or micromanage them.
Make Sure the Policy is Consistent
Your policy needs to be implemented company-wide for employees to embrace it. If your employees see that some of their co-workers are affected by the policy while others are exempt, they will be less likely to adhere to the rules. They might also feel they are being treated unfairly and it could negatively affect morale.
Though salaried managers or upper-level leadership may play by different rules, it’s important that all hourly workers see that the policy is enforced across the board.
Have an Open Communication Policy
It’s important to realize that tardiness is not always the product of lazy employees or those who just don’t care about getting to work on time. It could be a sign of an unstable home life, a personal crisis, or a bigger issue at work. Make sure you are not using the policy as a way to punish your employees for being late.
If you identify a pattern with a certain employee, use it as a conversation starter. Bring him or her into the office and ask about the issue and see how they explain their tardiness. If there are larger issues at play, you may be able to address them and solve the problem rather than punish the behavior.
Have a System of Both Reward and Punishment
Rewarding employees for being on time is just as important as punishing those who take advantage. It’s important that your policy has as much or more positive reinforcement built in as negative. Those who consistently violate the policy may not qualify for bonuses or raises. Those who show a pattern of on-time clock ins might earn an extra day off or be able to apply for promotion.
Use it to Help Conduct Performance Reviews
Conducting complete reviews helps all of your employees to become better workers. When you can quickly look at reports and identify which employees are consistently on time and which struggle with timeliness, you can easily incorporate the information.
Reward the employees who never show up late or take longer than necessary breaks. Address the issue with those who have tardiness issues. When you consistently talk about these issues during regular reviews, employees will begin to pay more attention and better manage their time.
Don’t let tardiness affect your company’s bottom line. While late clock-ins or extra breaks may not seem to make a huge difference, these time stealers add up. They can end up costing you thousands of dollars a year and can lead to employee resentment and reduced morale. Consider utilizing an HR system that incorporates absence management to keep on top of tardiness issues and develop effective policies for your employees.