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Lateness/tardiness policies...

dcg

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I work at a small, startup consulting firm. One of our employees has a habit of arriving late (10-20 minutes). This has been discussed a number of times, which results in on-time arrival for a while, but eventually the problem returns.

The behavior has somewhat spread to our long-term intern, who will be leaving at the end of the month. Seems as good a time as any to crack down on the lateness; I don't want it to become a widespread issue as the company grows and we bring on new people.

Any good suggestions for effective policies? Most of what I see is very vague (e.g.: Unplanned absences can disrupt work, inconvenience other employees, and affect productivity. If you have a poor attendance record or excessive lateness, you may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.)
 

scarphe

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Originally Posted by dcg
I work at a small, startup consulting firm. One of our employees has a habit of arriving late (10-20 minutes). This has been discussed a number of times, which results in on-time arrival for a while, but eventually the problem returns.

The behavior has somewhat spread to our long-term intern, who will be leaving at the end of the month. Seems as good a time as any to crack down on the lateness; I don't want it to become a widespread issue as the company grows and we bring on new people.

Any good suggestions for effective policies? Most of what I see is very vague (e.g.: Unplanned absences can disrupt work, inconvenience other employees, and affect productivity. If you have a poor attendance record or excessive lateness, you may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.)


really waht sort of disciplinary action can you do besides termination of employment? dock pay maybe . as long the staff can be replaced easily x amount of days late a month you are fired.
and to be fair all the empolyees are allowed to leave on time at the end of the day without bringing work home?
 

SVS

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10-20 minutes doesn't seem that late to me. Isn't that traffic variance?

Is this a consultant? Would you expect him/her to stay late/skip lunch/take work home/etc to meet a deadline? I'd only see this as a problem if was the receptionist who needs to open the office and answer the phone.

I've always found that giving my employees a little flexibility makes them work that much harder.

If this is your company and its bothering you that much, you can really only do one thing.
 

Joffrey

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You guys really crack down on people being late by 10-20 minutes in a white collar environment? I understand blue collar but for a desk job? Sounds like a quick way to hurt morale. I really don't think it's worth going through the trouble of policing then punishing people.

I understand if you don't want the intern doing it - you can sit him down and gently scold him for being habitually late (or better yet, wait til he leaves and then send him an email as my previous internship boss did to me and scared shit out of me since I wanted to work there again).

Main point - careful about placing too many rules on staff.
 

random-adam

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When I was a phone monkey for a startup, it was vitally important to my company that I be ready to take calls the moment the clock flipped and the lines were open.

Early this year they shunted me over to the development side of things and I've observed colleagues coming in at any point from 7:55am (me; old habits die hard) to 10:15am.

As long as the work is done and they're instantly available via BB during business hours, nobody cares. Seems to work just fine for us.
 

holymadness

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Flex time all the way. The best job I ever had let me show up any time between 8:30 and 9:30 and leave 8 hours later. Employee gratitude = productivity.
 

dcg

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It's not my company, I'm effectively #2. We're not i-bankers working 100 hour weeks here; the employee in question arrives 9:10-9:20 (occasionally 9:30-9:40), often heads out after that to get breakfast and is gone for another 20 minutes and leaves ~5:30. Given the amount of time taken for lunch, we're looking at maybe 7-7.5 hours of work a day. No traffic variance in this case, the employee bikes/walks to work.

This person does interact with clients and I expect that if a call is received or a meeting starts at 9:00 they are here for it.
 

Hombre Secreto

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I remember not too long ago being late probably 200 times in the course of one year. Only got one write up.
 

Douglas

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I know that everyone here works in really cool hip media environments here but it seems pretty clear to me that this employee is not necessarily putting in the hours to justify the tardiness. And he does interact with clients. And it's clearly having an unwanted effect on others in the working environment. Flex time does not work for all businesses, particularly ones where teamwork and client focus are involved. It can open up a huge can of worms in many environments. Frankly, 9am start is late to begin with. I think the proposed language is right. You want some vagueness so that in the event that you DO have an employee who you want to cut some slack (obv. not the case here) you have the freedom to do that. The point is to set a policy without tying your hands. Copying other policies is usually a perfectly fine idea. There are no bonus points for originality in policy manuals.
 

Infrasonic

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If it really is an issue make the pay reflect timekeeping. Award a bonus to people who are regularly on time. Friend does it with his business, seems to work.
 

dcg

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Thank you Douglas; thought I was going crazy there for a bit!

That said, the other responses have somewhat opened my eyes to the fact that the lateness is really not the primary issue here; it's the overall performance and amount of work being done that is lacking. I think the lateness just sticks out to me because 1. I hate lateness and 2. it's affecting other employees.

Originally Posted by Infrasonic
If it really is an issue make the pay reflect timekeeping. Award a bonus to people who are regularly on time. Friend does it with his business, seems to work.

I'm not averse to providing some form of additional incentive for those who are on time.
 

CouttsClient

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I don't know what sort of environment this is but I can't say I care much about someone being 10-20min behind because that generally means they were already on the way but were being held up by something (traffic).

1. If I call a meeting. Do NOT make me wait on you to arrive.
2. Meet or exceed the goals I've laid out for you

That's about all. If questioned, many employees will tell if you that they work from the moment they wake up because they're already answering emails and responding to clients at home.

I don't press the issue if their performance is as expected.
 

Slopho

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A guy who is constantly late wants to be fired. He isn't motivated by the job enough to want to be there on time and put in max effort. He wants/needs you to fire him.
 

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