Late Employees: Effective Strategies

Employees are late for a variety of reasons: from traffic delays and childcare difficulties to mental health issues and lack of sleep.  Here are some strategies to help you address chronic lateness:

  • Develop a company policy on lateness to emphasize that punctuality is valued by your company.
  • Monitor attendance.  Employees are more likely to come on time when they know that their attendance is monitored.  Time clocks encourage punctuality by keeping track of employee arrival time.  Time and Attendance Software can be utilized to evaluate tardiness patterns and help plan solutions.
  • Schedule a meeting with each chronically late employee to discuss his/her reasons for being late.  Brainstorm possible solutions.  An employee might be encouraged to plan to arrive at work 15 minutes early to accommodate any traffic delays.  Scheduling meetings first thing in the morning might provide an additional reason to arrive on time.  The company might consider offering accommodations (e.g. later start time/later finish time) for an employee with childcare responsibilities or sleep difficulties which contribute to morning fatigue.  It is important to develop a plan with specific strategies and goals, monitor its effectiveness (e.g. keep track of employee attendance via a time clock and a Time and Attendance Software) and schedule another meeting to evaluate and/or change the plan as necessary.
  • Reward punctuality.  For example, employees that come routinely on time (e.g. on-time attendance for five consecutive days) could be entered into a regularly-held draw for movie passes or a temporary use of a coveted parking spot.
  • Set an example: be on time yourself!