You may have heard some laughable excuses at times but staff lateness is a big, expensive problem. It costs UK employers an estimated £9 billion a year in lost work time.
It doesn’t bear thinking about how much of that lost money was once yours. So what can you do about it?
Accept that everyone can be late. It can happen to the best of employees from time to time, it can happen to you when you come across surprise road works that have cropped up over night. Start by recognising that life can stop your staff from getting to work on time.
However, you need to be clear and consistent in how your business treats lateness. Include a policy for it in your contract of employment or staff handbook. It’s good practice to make staff tell you they’re running late and it’s up to you to decide whether that’s by phone call, text or email. You may also expect staff to stay behind to make up the lost time.
Remember to keep a record of every lateness. That way, you can easily spot when it happens far too often or a pattern in an employee’s lateness begins to emerge, you can address this issue with them immediately. If someone’s late-shows become the norm, don’t just assume it’s down to laziness or that they’ve stopped caring about working for you. There may be something going on outside of work. To see if there’s anything you can do to help, have an informal chat to find out what the problem is.
What if your employee is bad at time management?
Remind them about your lateness policy. Then, you’ve given them a fair warning should you need to act further on it, say in a disciplinary. Follow a fair and formal process. Invite your employee to a formal meeting to discuss their repeat lateness.
Listen with care to their side of the story, take notes, and explain your views. You may want to explain how lateness:
– Is unprofessional.
– Impacts team morale.
– Harms productivity.
– Affects people who rely on them for work. By the end of the meeting, your employee should understand the importance of being on time.
Write a summary of your formal discussion. Keep one copy for your records and give another to your employee. With your lateness policy in place, people not showing up on time should become less frequent and bothersome.
If you think you may need advice on how to deal with persistent lateness or any other areas of HR, then please call us on 01706 565332 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Metis HR is a professional HR Consultancy based in the North West of England supporting clients across the country. We specialise in providing outsourced HR services to small and medium-sized businesses. Call us now on 01706 565332 to discuss how we may help you.