3 Ways to Motivate Employees and Solve the Tardiness Epidemic at Work

creative_ways_to_motivateLooking for ways to effectively motivate employees and solve the tardiness epidemic that seems to be running rampant in your organization?

Your company won’t succeed if the workforce manning it doesn’t show up for work on time. Low attendance and tardiness might seem like a non-issue at the beginning but if it continues, the organization’s overall performance will be affected. Perhaps you’ve already tried different ways to motivate employees, such as giving incentives for arriving early but it didn’t work as well as you hoped. What else can you do?

To increase attendance and encourage latecomers to show up for work on time, you must look past the superficial needs of employees. Round up the usual reasons for tardiness then find a way to solve it.

Tardiness Problem #1- Employees stop to get coffee and breakfast-to-go before coming to work.

There’s an easy way to solve this- provide breakfast for employees in the pantry. Allot money to buy some bagels, coffee, and pastries, so that employees don’t have to wait in line at the coffee shop to get them. Granted, providing employees with free breakfast will cost you, but the work hours you’ll recoup from the latecomers will make the investment worth it. To save on costs, you can contact a coffee or pastry shop to get a discount for bulk orders.

Employees might resume their drive-through breakfast routine once the lure of coffee and donuts wear off. You can prevent this from happening by changing the menu every week. Try fruits and oatmeal next week, then go for sandwiches the week after that.

Tardiness Problem #2- Single parents and working students juggling work and other responsibilities

Offer flexible work schedules or telecommute options to employees with a valid reason for needing them. If the employee’s job doesn’t revolve around a fixed 9-5 schedule, then I see nothing wrong with providing a flexi-schedule.

Aside from flexi-schedules, you can provide a work-from-home option routinely or simply during holidays.

 Tardiness Problem #3- Habitual tardiness

Sometimes, no matter what you do, an employee will arrive late and with a ready excuse for his tardiness. Sometimes, it’s the traffic, other times its bad weather… they’ll even blame the drive-through guy at McDonald’s for getting their order wrong.

If you’re seeing this pattern, I suggest you talk to the person in private. Get to the bottom of things; ask for the real reason he’s always late then offer a different work schedule or a flexi-schedule. If it’s because of a personal problem, give him a chance but insist he doesn’t let it happen again. If it does happen again, don’t hesitate to enforce the policies laid out for employee tardiness.

Lastly, it’s important that you arrive on time yourself. If your team doesn’t see you making an effort to arrive on time, then why should they arrive early? As their leader, it’s your job to lead by example and find ways to motivate employees to come on time.


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