Dealing with Lateness – An Analysis

Time is money


In most companies there are few people who come late regularly. It is an annoying habit and it becomes all the more annoying if the professional who comes late is a major figure and the rest of the team members have to wait for her before making key decisions. In this article, we will discuss about stopping consistent lateness by using time management tools and personal effectiveness.


  • Being late is quite an offence and making it a regular practice leads to irregularity in effectiveness.
  • A business owner depends on the capability and effectiveness of her employees to make sure that her business is succeeding.
  • When one of these employees makes it a practice to come late, it results in loss of money, confidence and time.
  • If one employee comes late to office regularly without being disciplined by the company authority, all employees get into the practice of attending office late. This leads to complete mayhem in the organization.

Understanding the Reasons for Lateness

# Determine the cause for late entry

The team leader or business owner should identify how serious the problem of late entry is. She should determine if the cause is really important or not. The occasional lateness from otherwise sincere and punctual employees should be considered. However, other team members should complain about the consideration doled out to efficient employees.

# Determine the attitude of the late comer

The business owner should determine the habit of the late comer and understand if it is her usual practice or if it is a distraction from normal punctual behavior.

# Try to find out simple solution

She should call the resource to a private meeting which is not formal and ask the reason for her late entry to office everyday. She should also try to see if there is a simple solution to the problem at hand. For instance, if the receptionist and manager both come in at 9 in the morning, but the manager has to come early to check the projects delivered the previous day before sending them to the client, both should be given a key.

# Identify a pattern

She should write down the reason of lateness and try to identify the pattern of late entry.

Actions to be Taken by the Business Owner

# Modify office schedules for productive and sincere employees

If the situation demands, the owner should modify schedules for the benefit of the company and the productivity of the employees. If the employee in concern is an efficient one, she should take steps to reschedule her office hours. For instance, a sincere resource is arriving twenty minutes late because of a change in her daily schedule. The owner can permit her to arrive twenty minutes late and leave twenty minutes later than usual time so that she can adjust to her new timetable.

# Financial punishment for offenders

The company authority can implement penalty in financial form, if she notices that late comers are repeat offenders. Her payment should be docked for the time she does not turn up or is late and she should not be allowed to work late if she wants to make up for her offence.

# Office vigilance

She should make sure that new employees are trained properly, so that they attend office on time. She should ask one of her most sincere and trusted employees to keep an eye on the late comers. She should be careful when asking her employees to be vigilant over late comers, because it can turn out to be uncomfortable for both the employees.

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# Tricky techniques

  • She can use peer pressure to make sure that employees are not late. If she notices that coming late to office has become a habit she should use techniques like rewards and bonus cards to those who come early. Many offices give a Friday off if all employees come on time for an entire week. If any one of the techniques works, she can stick to it to bring discipline in the company.
  • The owner has to determine the extent to which she wants to discipline the employee. This is because, she cannot afford to have irate employees in the company or even lose an efficient resource. If circumstances are such that she has to fire a good employee on issues of lateness, she has to explain the reason behind her decision. Otherwise, other employees may lose confidence and not understand what went wrong with the fired employee.

Some Important Suggestions

  • Even the most efficient employee may be a habitual latecomer. Instead of taking a drastic step at the initial stage, the owner should address the problem in a negotiable manner like, calling a meeting. This is because firing a good employee means losing employee morale.
  • Retaining a good employee is better than losing her. Recruiting and training requires investing a lot of money. Moreover, getting a trustworthy employee is not possible everyday. So at times, the company management should be a little flexible as far as efficient resources are concerned.
  • The owner should reach the workplace on time. Being the leader, she should set an example to the rest of her employees.
  • The appointment letter or a separate notice to employees needs to have a separate section where it should be mentioned that tardy employees in the company are disciplined. The various ways of disciplining them are also mentioned. The importance of punctuality should be highlighted along with other rules of the company.
  • Maintaining documents about the attendance of tardy employees is necessary if company policies support the firing of such resources. These documents act as a proof of the reason behind the decision made by the management, if the defaulter creates any problem later on.

To Sum Up

From this article, it can be deduced that the company owner has to be very particular about maintaining discipline in her company. She has to be punctual herself and make sure that all employees attend work on time.

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