We’ve all been there: A staffer is running late, and when they finally arrive, the excuse seems … well, let’s just say less than believable.
Their car wouldn’t start, then magically got better. They got stuck in traffic when a worker who lives five minutes away from them made it in without a problem.
- Woke up on a lawn two blocks away from his home
- The cat got stuck in the toilet
- Had to run out to buy some milk and cereal before coming into work
- Fell asleep in the car in the building’s parking lot
- Thought Halloween was a day off work
- Wound up in the emergency room by confusing superglue with contact lens solution
- A hole in the roof caused rain water fall on the alarm clock and break it
- Really wanted to see the end of a TV program
- Forgot that the company changed locations
- Got a hairbrush stuck in her hair
- Was scared by a nightmare, and
- A zebra on the loose was tying up traffic.
That last one? Actually happened.
Dealing with tardy techs
You probably have a lot easier time managing systems than people from time to time. And lateness can be one of those things that is a different priority for every workplace.
In some departments, not having techs in on time is a serious problem. For others, flex time and scheduling can make it less of a priority.
According to the survey, 34% of managers let workers slide if they’re late every once in a while. And 18% don’t care much if workers are late, just as long as they get their work done.
On the other hand, 35% have fired employees for tardiness.
What’s the right approach?
There’s really no one-size-fits-all policy for lateness. Just be sure to:
- Communicate clearly whether employees are expected to be on time every day and what the consequences will be for lateness.
- Enforce lateness policies consistently for all employees they affect.
- Let the team know if there’s a project or change that will require them to be in exactly on time, and
- Let employees know whom they should inform if they’re running late – and the acceptable way to inform them (text message, email, phone call, etc.)