Share your experience: fixing a chronically late employee

Each week, we will post a question that the law doesn’t answer. But we know you can. What’s your best practice when it comes to dealing with this issue? To weigh in on the conversation, simply post a comment below. It’s easy – no sign-up is required!

If you’re not sure how you would answer the question, check out the recommendations from others!

This week’s question:

Q: I have a great employee who can never get to work on time. What can I do to motivate him to show up when he is supposed to?

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3 thoughts on “Share your experience: fixing a chronically late employee

  1. natalie deal says:

    I am one of those people that just can’t seem to get to work on time. I am 46 years old and up until the job i have now every one of my jobs i got in trouble for being late. At this job, my hours are as early as 7:30am and as late as 5:30pm. I am required to take at least 30 min for lunch. As long as i put in 40 hrs a week these are my only rules. I can come in at 8:30 or 8:00 or 8:15 or 7:45 and i can leave at 4:30, or 5:15 or 5:30 and i can take a 30 min lunch or an hour long lunch. As long as I have 40 hrs at the end of the week. Its all good. And on Friday’s I can leave as early as noon. If I want to work 9 hrs mon thru thursday then I only have to work 4 hrs on Friday. I very rarely if ever get into trouble for being late.

  2. Sandy says:

    The most important rule here is to talk to the employee to see what is going on in their life.
    Sometimes things at home are holding them back that you are unaware of. Maybe it is getting the children ready for school or day care, or a sick pet that needs attention before getting off to work, or a sick family member needing attention, or funny as it may sound have OCD and much checking of doors, locks, electronics makes them go back home for reassurance.
    If you value your employee, communicating with them would be the best way to get to the root of the problem of being late.

  3. Michelle says:

    It’s important to discuss with the employee. This employee’s behavior sets an example for others. It he/she is allowed to continue coming in late, you can’t discriminate against another employee who starts the same action. I have this happen in my office EVERY DAY! We’re a small company and my owner (and direct boss) states that he doesn’t care- he allows upper management to come and go as deemed necessary. I’m upper management- I tried it and he called me wanting to know why I wasn’t in the office. Every employee should lead by example even if he/she isn’t a manager, team lead, boss, etc. Others do notice.

    If there is a personal problem, maybe you can help find a solution. Regardless, if he/she was employed to be on time- he/she should be on time. Another option is to review the employee’s employment status/position: Can you transfer him/her to one that more’s conducive to their needs while still retaining a good employee?

    Just some thoughts! Good luck!

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