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Late again? How to make sure your employees are always on time

by , 10 October 2013
We all experience it. Some employees show up late for work. Others wander into the room after you start a meeting. A few take extra-long lunch breaks.
A few minutes here and a few minutes there. Add it all up and you'll see how much time - and money - your team wastes because people are late.

Here's how to make punctuality the norm rather than the exception in your workplace.
Just because your employees work overtime doesn't mean you have to pay them for it...
Yes you read right, you really don't have to pay your employees overtime... In fact, today you can discover how to get rid of all your overtime headaches without having to fork out thousands of rands every month for overtime.
Click here to find out more.
What to do with the four different types of late-comers
  1. The employee who can't get to work on time
Explain that while chronic tardiness is unacceptable, you understand that "life happens". We all know people will sometimes be late to work due to childcare emergencies, car problems and things like that. Make sure everyone knows what employees should do when these things happen. Should they call, text or email you? Do they need to tell you they're running late, even if it's only 10 minutes?
This must be in line with your policies and procedures. If an employee has a habit of coming in late, speak with him individually. Tell him that you've noticed the pattern and ask why it's happening. Coach him to work out an effective plan and offer your assistance.
  1. Employees showing  up late for a meeting
Close the door and start meetings on time, even if a few attendees aren't there. People will quickly realise that they're interrupting, and most will adjust their behaviour. Don't stop to rehash what you've already spoken about. Assign a task to the last person to arrive, such as taking meeting notes.
If he carries on, pull him aside and explain your expectations. Keep a record if it keeps happening and address this as you would any other performance issue, in private meetings and with progressive discipline.
Have you ever asked one of these questions?
  • I want to take disciplinary action against an employee, what are the minimum requirements for the CCMA?
  • Can I ask my poor performer to resign?
  • How long do I need to tolerate an employee being consistently late for work?
  • Who must pay the medical bills if one employee assaults another?
  • Can we dismiss an employee for vandalism?
 Or what about:
  • Can I terminate my employee's employment based on incapacity?
 If you've ever asked yourself – or a colleague – even one of these questions then you need these answers...


Two more types of latecomers and what you can do about them
  1. The extended lunch hours
A habit of long breaks is a much bigger problem than one or two once-off instances. If you see an employee regularly abuse break privileges, confront him about it.
Say "I noticed that your lunch break was 90 minutes today rather than an hour. I've noticed this on a few occasions. We can't have you taking long breaks because that puts an unfair onus on team members who have to cover for you while you're out. Please be more punctual in the future. I'll record unapproved extended lunch breaks going forward, which will affect your upcoming performance review." Then, follow through.
  1. The deadline misser
Check in on employees' progress on projects so you aren't blindsided. If a project seems behind schedule, guide the employee to finish it on time by asking "What do we need to do to ensure that we meet our agreed-upon deadline?" or "What steps will you take to ensure that you meet the deadline? And what obstacles could get in your way?"
The employee might need you to reprioritise his other work. The first time an employee misses a deadline, consider it a teachable moment. Ask the person what he or she could have done differently and how the experience will affect his future choices.
If it comes to it, you might have to start performance managing him.  Find out how to legally get rid of poor performers here.

Until next time,
Taryn strugnell

P.S. There are only three reasons you can fire an employee that the CCMA will's considered 'fair' but there are hundreds of reasons you can fire an employee that's automatically 'unfair'! Click here to find out what they are...

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