Another update from the Jungle….
Jane is the HR manager for a company with about 200 employees. The company runs a lean operation which means that Jane is the sole HR person and handles pretty much every situation that arises. Jane likes the variety of issues that she faces because it keeps everything fresh and interesting.
A major problem for the company is time and attendance. The owner of the company is obsessive and compulsive about details and it drives him nuts to see a few employees chronically showing up late. He told Jane to fix the problem.
Jane reviewed the time and attendance policy which clearly states that chronic tardiness may subject an employee to progressive disciplinary action. The policy is included in the employee handbook. Jane checks the personnel files for each laggard employee and finds that each of them has signed the acknowledgement form. That means that each employee received a copy of the employee handbook and promptly tossed it aside without actually reading it.
This week, Jane began meeting individually with each employee who is chronically late. Jane tries not to yawn as she hears the usual excuses. One employee says she was stuck in traffic due to an accident. Another says his dog got out of the fenced-in backyard and he had to find the mutt and lock him in the garage before leaving for work.
Jane’s favorite excuse of the week is the employee who says she was late due to the school zones. The employee recently moved so that her children could attend a more highly rated school. This means the employee must now travel through three more school zones on her route to work. That caused her to be late.
What should Jane do next?
- She can explain to each employee that the excuse du jour doesn’t make up for chronic lateness. She can then move to the next step in progressive discipline.
- She can encourage each employee to make a greater effort to arrive on time and let them off with a verbal warning.
- She can ask herself why she never thought up so many creative reasons for being late to work.
Time and attendance issues are a perennial problem. Perhaps it’s time to think about the underlying reasons for tardiness. Employees who enjoy their work tend to show up on time.
If your company is struggling with HR issues, Corporate Compliance Risk Advisor can help you create HR policies that are appropriate for your company’s size and then serve as a resource to your staff as the policies are implemented.
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