A late coming employee can be a bone in teeth situation sometimes—if not all the time. Nobody feels happy when his/her employees appear late at work. But not everyone knows how to manage this absurdity. Some employers retaliate extremely, while some take it calmly. Acting calm towards a situation should not be mistaken for taking it lightly.
When it comes to dealing with the human factor of your business, a calm approach should be employed. The reason for this is that humans, unlike other resources have feelings emotions. There are always better ways to tame bad behavior.
Being an employer for many years who has had many pleasant and unpleasant encounters with employees, I would like to prescribe a few steps I took to get my perpetually late employees to be punctual.
Do not play blind to it
The word ‘perpetual’ wouldn’t have come in if the “let it slide” approach wasn’t used at first. This does not mean you should flare up just because a punctual employee showed up 10 minutes late to work. Remember a perpetually late employee was once punctual until somebody stopped being bothered if they came in early or not.
I cannot tell you the number of times permitted for an employee to come late before being reprimanded. But I absolutely know that making him/her aware of your displeasure is a good way to make an always late employee punctual.
Like I said earlier, you should not shy away from reprimanding; rather let them know you are aware. Many managers play blind to late coming simply because they don’t want to be tagged “the bad boss”. A mentor of mine would always say “what you don’t like, you don’t watch.”
I concur with him. Not keeping mute to an employee’s bad behavior does not make you the worst boss of the year. Instead, it shows you take your business seriously. And whoever wants to be a part of the success story should not be anything less. Late coming depicts otherwise and should not be tolerated.
A walk won’t hurt
I guess you would be surprised that a walk can solve this kind of problem. Sure it does. This actually proved effective when one of my most dedicated employees started turning up late for work. After so many expressions of my displeasure at his negative attitude, I decided to invite him for a walk.
We started off with talking about the only thing I knew we shared in common aside business—sports. Hockey to be precise that was a good way to clear the air and make him comfortable. He was amazed that I remembered he was into hockey and this made him relax.
Talked about hockey for a while and chipped in his late coming habit. He opened up and revealed that his job was not what and where he functioned maximally and therefore, lacked the motivation to show up early at a job that he was not excited about.
I learned of the department that best suits him, had him there and that was the end of late coming. Sometimes we tend to neglect the little things like going for a walk, without knowing that it could be the solution.
Many entrepreneurs would see this as time consuming but it’s not. One cannot be a manager without knowing how to effectively handle unfavorable conditions. You have to accept that you don’t handle the human aspect of your business the same way do to the material aspect.
Discipline a good last resort
I think this is the hardest part of managing people. It’s that side of management we all do not like showing. A discipline is an inevitable tool in management we must learn how to use in order to correct late coming.
Having employed every technique you possibly could without a change of behavior from the late comer, discipline is your next option.
Disciplining an employee should be your last resort because getting a perpetually late employee to be punctual is a step-by-step process.
Imagine I had written the hockey guy up without engaging him in a conversation? I would have succeeded in making him an on- the- time employee who comes early to work but has little or nothing to offer the team.
Fortunately, for me I did not strike the rod and he later turned out to be one of the best employees I ever had. I am not encouraging excess use of leniency in business either but it should be when you have played all your cards.
You can start disciplining by writing up the employee through the human resource department. To avoid him/her disclaiming, attach a report of the times he/she has defaulted. Also, endeavor to include the company’s policies being violated by the late comer and the adverse effect on other employees.
Lastly, the punishment for late coming should also be in the write up along with the signatures of the manager and the supervisor to make the write up authentic.