Businesses of all shapes and sizes have to deal with employees arriving late for work, aka tardiness (though hopefully to a lesser extent for sole proprietors or single-member LLCs). The effect of employee tardiness on businesses is obviously negative because an employee cannot do their finance job if they are not present and lost productivity means lost revenue, on top of many other consequences. According to HR Magazine, around 20% of the American workforce has a problem arriving to work on time. Employers that tolerate employee tardiness, even for high-performing employees, run the risk of creating the perception that other employees can perpetuate tardiness too. So how should a employer reduce employee tardiness? See below for an informed plan of action many businesses nationwide have used to reduce employee tardiness.

Everything flows from having an employee tardiness policy in finance jobs so everyone knows what to expect and the odds are greater that everyone will feel like they are being treated to the same standard. This is the first thing a company can do to reduce employee tardiness. It is important for businesses to develop a thorough employee tardiness policy, make sure it is easy to understand, provide it in multiple places so it is easily accessible, and regularly update the policy to prevent it from becoming outdated. Some of the things the policy should include are: a definition and criteria for tardiness, how the employer will be tracking tardiness, and consequences of tardiness. Some forward-thinking businesses include consequences of tardiness (negative) and consequences of non-tardiness (positive) to encourage employees to improve in this area.

The second thing a company can do to reduce employee tardiness is to deploy an easy to use time-tracking system that is also extremely accurate. This will prevent managers from having to spend too much time on tracking employee tardiness; time that managers should instead be spending on mission-critical activities that are actually productive to the company. It also lets the employees see that the company is serious about tardiness and that there will not be any lapses in tracking tardiness (assuming the system is high enough quality).

The third thing a company can do is to have a gradual progression when it comes to the consequences of tardiness. It is not feasible for a variety of reasons to attack tardiness too strongly, such as instant termination the first time an employee is tardy. Who would want to work at such a company? Instead, as spelled out in the policy, have a gradual progression of consequences to give the employee a chance to correct the problem before termination needs to enter the conversation. Speaking of conversation, it is helpful to include avenues for communication in multiple places within the system of consequences in hopes that everything related to the tardiness will be on the table, giving the employer to help in other ways, if possible.