It happens to the best of us. Very few people in the workforce can claim to have been on time for every shift in their career. Things happen—alarms don’t go off, children come down with the flu, the car won’t start, traffic is bad—something that leads to a tardy arrival time. Once in a while, your light industrial employee most likely has a good excuse. But if you notice a pattern, and your worker becomes perpetually late, you need to step up as manager and make changes. Here’s what you need to know.
How to handle frequent tardiness
If your light industrial employee is a good worker, but is currently at war with the clock, you can take these steps to turn the situation around:
- Talk to the employee 1:1. Your worker may have good reasons or simply think you’re not aware of their arrival time. Tardiness once or twice may be excusable, but if you notice it more often, it’s time to say something. Simply pull the employee aside and remind them when their shift starts and what you’ve been noticing. Let them know that being on time has an impact on the person whose shift they’re relieving and sets a good precedent for his co-workers.
- Have a heart to heart. If the employee’s tardiness continues, why not give them the benefit of the doubt? Take some time off the clock to touch base—maybe over a cup of coffee or at lunch. You may discover your worker has a sick family member or needs to purchase a new car—or something else is happening that’s changing their daily routine. By taking the time to learn more, you may be able to offer suggestions that will help your employee, while at the same time showing you care about him as a person.
- Give a warning. If your message continues to go unheard and the late behavior does not improve, it’s time to get firmer as a manager. Let the employee know what the penalty is for continued tardiness (e.g., getting written up).
- Take action. Failure to heed your warning must, unfortunately, result in taking action if the employee continues to show up late. As a follow-up to this step, it’s important to review your company’s policy on the number of warnings an employee can sustain before termination. No one wants to take measures this far, but a sub-par performer can have a negative impact on the rest of your team.
In your role as manager, sometimes you need to play the heavy. This reinforces your place as the boss and will result in maintaining the respect of your staff. It’s possible to be kind and fair, but also firm. The best managers are able to achieve this delicate balance. It just takes practice to get it right.
Looking for light industrial candidates?
If you find yourself in need of additional light industrial workers, contact McGrath Systems. We’ll work with you to find and place skilled workers that meet your workforce needs. To learn more, contact us today!