Punctuality is important for any business, and ensuring that your employees come and leave their jobs on time is essential for your company’s performance.
Why is tardiness such a big issue, especially for small businesses, and for those with a mobile workforce? It hurts the efficiency of your team, as well as the profitability of your company. Unreported tardiness can lead to employees being paid for time they didn't actually work, which can cost companies millions of dollars every year. Whether it’s customer-facing employees holding up your clients, or back office team members who slow down the internal processes, problems with employee attendance can have a serious negative impact on your bottom line.
In order to reduce employee absenteeism, you need to develop a comprehensive approach to tackling it. It all starts with a solid tardiness policy. For best results, it should combine a balance between rules and regulation, on one hand, and education and stimulus for being on time, on the other.
What are the best ways to minimize employee tardiness then?
The 5 Strategic Steps to Reduce Employee Tardiness
1. Embed a Tardiness Policy in Your Employee Handbook
If you want late employees to learn and comply with your tardiness rules, you have to create a solid framework that’s easy to learn and follow.
Create a Sound Policy
The first step involves doing your homework. You should set up an attendance policy in writing, which should be comprehensive and clear. It has to be based on the real-life experience of how your team operates, so that it makes sense to your employees. It’s a good idea to monitor the most common issues that come up in terms of late arrival or early departure from your headquarters, external work spots, or customer locations.
Streamline the Rules in Your Employee Handbook
Once you have the policy set, you should make sure that you integrate it into your employee handbook. It doesn’t need to be a standalone piece, but rather a part of the list of rules that everyone in your team should know and follow. This will help reinforce the idea that you take tardiness seriously.
2. Train and Inform Your Team
You can’t count on employees learning your tardiness policy on their own. It takes an effort to educate them.
Include the Tardiness Policy during Onboarding
One of the proven methods for workforce management is to embed the attendance policy in the onboarding process for new employees. Every new member of the team has to learn how your business functions. If you include the tardiness policy at this early stage, people will get used to complying with it from the very start.
Set Up Trainings for All Employees
If you didn’t have a clear policy earlier, whenever you do set it up, it’s important to communicate it to your team. You can organize a training to clarify the rules and explain them to your employees in person. A good approach here is to highlight the need for having a policy, so that people understand why being tardy is a problem - and how you plan to reduce it.
3. Track and Manage Employee Time
Rules are great, but you should also find an effective way to monitor their application.
Use a Solid Time Tracking Solution
Gone are the days of punch machines and time clocks. Using a digital time tracking system is the most effective solution, especially for businesses with a mobile workforce. With Hourly, tracking hours becomes a breeze for your employees, as does keeping an overview of lateness and compliance.
Conduct Regular Checks
With a solid time tracking software in place, you can stay up-to-date with the attendance of your staff. You don’t have to manually process time cards and make tedious calculations. Instead, you can check for any tardiness issues at a glance. Hourly also allows you to handle payroll and workers compensation insurance premiums right in the platform.
4. Create a Reward System for Compliance
Enforcing your attendance policy can also be fun. Here’s how:
Introduce Individual Rewards
You can motivate your employees to come on time by setting up a reward system. It can be in the form of gift cards, extra vacation, or additional benefits that best fit your type of business. The idea is simple: people need positive reinforcements to comply, and the carrot often works better than the stick.
Offer Team Rewards Too
Individual rewards can be complemented by team ones as well. This is how you can avoid internal conflicts due to tardiness, and instead unite all employees towards a common goal. For example, if the whole team has reported to work on time for the last two weeks, you can offer a free lunch for all, or another type of communal celebration.
5. Apply Your Tardiness Policy Skillfully
It’s all about consistency and a fair approach.
Enforce the Policy Consistently
In order to make the most of your attendance policy, you have to ensure that it applies equally to all employees. It would be very demotivating for your staff if there are exclusions for certain people or situations. You should enforce the policy consistently and fairly, so that all team members accept it simply as the way you do things at your company.
Make Tardiness Unfashionable
It would be beneficial to turn your tardiness policy from an externally imposed rule into an internalized principle in your team. This entails creating a company culture that has no appreciation for being late. Fostering a strong team spirit where people understand their work interdependencies will help encourage responsibility in every employee.
Tackle Employee Tardiness in Your Business
Are you ready to root out employee tardiness from your team? You can get started by introducing Hourly, the preferred time tracking solution for businesses with a mobile workforce. You’ll be able to keep a detailed overview of your staff’s exact logged hours, so you can identify chronic tardiness in no time.