Dealing with an employee who is always late

When you are an employer of labor or the leader of a team, you are bound to have a number of challenges. One of such challenges is the issue of employees coming late to work or meetings, which negatively affects the success of the organization. In order to avoid these negative effects, it is very important to always take decisive measures to deal with an employee who is always late. Some of such measures for dealing with an employee who is always late are explained below.

Terms and Conditions of Employment

The terms and conditions for employment of staff should clearly state that the organization will not tolerate employees to come late. It should be clearly stated in the rules, what the punishments for coming late will be. The punishment could range from a deduction of a particular amount for every day the individual comes late to termination of his appointment if he continues. When employees know that they are going to be sanctioned for coming late, chances is that they will be more careful about flouting the rules. It is however; also important for the organization to enforce those rules as just listing them will not be enough. Once the employee observes that the rule regarding coming late is not been enforced, he might start to relax and will begin to come late.

Warning and Punishment

The instance you find out that an employee is late to work, it is important to immediately warn them. For the first time, a verbal warning might suffice, even though it is not always recommended professionally. A query could serve as an official form of warning, where the individual will have to answer in written form why he or she came late. This will be filed and the employee warned. After a first warning or maximum of second warning, the punishments that have been stated in the terms and conditions could be meted out on the erring employee. This might first come in the form of a suspension without pay and where the employee still has not learnt his lesson, the appointment could be terminated. If the individual values his job however, he or she will not allow the situation get as bad as getting suspended, let alone getting fired.


The use of rewards will also go a long way to encourage people to come early to work. Employees who are always punctual to work could be rewarded at the end of every month or every year. The reward could be a book, a bonus or a vacation depending on the size and financial strength of the organization. The more promising the reward, the more people will strive to win the reward. You might thus, not having to bother about an employee coming late to work as most of them will regularly come even before the time they are to report for work if the rewards are right. Rewards for best improvements could also encourage those who used to come late to start coming to work much earlier.

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