People who feel included and wanted, who know that their presence on the job is important – are less apt to be late or absent. Anyone who could come up with a guaranteed cure for lateness and absenteeism could sell the secret and retire in style.
Lateness and absenteeism are perennial problems for which there seems no cure – you must make it a point to continually work at it. Why? Well, one is to be sure – through personal contact and explanation – that everyone appreciates the problems that lateness and absence create. If one person is frequently late, why shouldn’t everyone be? And if everyone is late, why shouldn’t someone else come in even later? Obviously there’s only one sensible place to draw the line – everyone should be ready to start work on time.
When people are unexpectedly late or absent, adjustments have to be made at the last minute. These are almost always costly and inefficient. Be sure to explain this thoroughly. It is important, too, for the person who supervises others to practice promptness and regularity as well. Regular hours, conscientiously observed by management team, set a good example for everyone. When people are late several times, don’t ignore it. Talk to them about the problem they are creating. Stress the importance of their conduct as an example to others and ask for their cooperation.
When people have excessive absences, don’t ignore that, either. Stop by the next day and tell them how much they were missed. Do point out the costly last-minute changes that have to be made, the work that is not done nearly as well as it could have been when they are out so often. Also, take more time to appreciate the work people do. Show that you count on them. Make them feel needed, wanted, and important.
If excessive lateness or absenteeism continues, probe for root cause. Is the job too boring? Has it lost its challenge? If these are the reasons, what can you do to remedy the situation?
And what if this constructive approach, applied time and again, doesn’t seem to help? Well, there may come a time when you reluctantly may have to exercise progressive discipline action.
TRUTHFULLY NOW …
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