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Handling no-shows and employees who arrive late to work

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It can be very frustrating for management when there are employees that are always showing up late for work, or worse don't show up at all. But sometimes it seems impossible to remedy the problem, especially when it is a problem throughout your business and not just one employee.

There are ways that you can help your employees do what you need them to do. Here are some ideas that will help you to know how to handle employees that are no-showing and arriving late.

  • It all starts with having a policy set in place. Have a set rule for showing up to work and have set consequences for not following the policy. Make sure that you are consistent about the policy as well. There shouldn't be exceptions to the rule, it just makes your policy that much more ineffective.
  • If you have just hired a new person and they are having these problems, then bring them in and let them know that this is a probationary period and that they are not making a good impression. If you choose not to tell them, then when their probation is up then you can inform them that they don't have a job because they weren't following policy.
  • For employees that you find are repeat offenders, start documentation on their tardiness and no-shows. You will be your proof and it will cover you against any discrimination. This can be presented to the employee to help them see that they have a pattern.
  • If you are having problems with many employees then you need to address the problem in a staff meeting. Let them know your concerns and give them a chance to give you feedback. You may find that there are things that can be changed that will help fix the problem. Also remind them of the policy that is set in place, this might be enough encouragement to motivate them into action.
  • With the employee that thought you were talking to everyone else in the meeting, sit down one on one. They need to know that you are not okay with their behavior and again remind them of the policy. Let them give you excuses, some will be valid and others you can tell are "the dog ate my homework" classics. Let them talk but also make sure that they know what is going to happen if it continues and that you are very disappointed in their behavior.
  • When an employee hasn't shown and it is thirty minutes into their shift, call and find out if everything is okay. They have not noticed they worked on the schedule or they might have forgotten to set an alarm. Give them a chance, but if they don't answer or call you in a good amount of time, then it is okay to put a mark on their record.
  • Offer rewards for being on time. This sounds bad because employees shouldn't have to be rewarded for doing what they are supposed to do, but it just might work. For those people who have never had a tardy or a no-show, give a reward. Maybe a whole weekend off in retail or a long lunch in an office setting. It doesn't have to cost you anything to reward good employees for doing their best and helping you out. Maybe it is the motivation that a slacking employee needs.
  • Termination is not too harsh for those who just don't care or just can't get it together. Make sure that you have solid grounds for termination, but you don't have to be scared to go that far. You may think they are a great employee, but you will be able to find someone that can do just as good at the job and also can show up to work.

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Posted by DF
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