An employee who’s 10 minutes late each day has taken the
equivalent of a week's paid vacation by the end of the
Here’s the finale of last week’s
The Indiana woman’s outrage seemed to center
Rule #7 (If you can't be on time, be early).
“Do not let anyone know you are a Mom or Dad,
heaven forbid your children ever get sick and need you.
Teamwork? What teamwork? We do not do that here.”
probably right that they don’t have great teamwork in her
organization. But where she missed the target was that anyone
who thinks the way she does kills morale more than management
I surmise from her angry
diatribe that tardiness and/or absenteeism have been an issue
with her in the past. When an employee is chronically late or
absent, the party that pays the ultimate price is their
coworkers. Somebody will have to do double duty to cover for the
employee who’s not there.
NOTHING kills morale more than
when one member of the team creates more work for others. It
reeeeeeeeeeeeeally ticks people off.
In a Psychology
Today article titled “The Psychology of Lateness”, psychiatrist
Neel Burton wrote “Being late sends the message, ‘My time is
more valuable than yours’, that is, ‘I am more important than
Lea Waide, tri-athlete and founder of
BeyondThirty.net, wrote, “Being late is selfish and
disrespectful. It’s rude.”
What the angry woman in
Indiana didn’t know is that in my seminars, we cover a Point
System. The example I use allows for up to 10 absences, or 20
tardies per year. While those figures are arbitrary and used
only for round numbers, there are two points to it:
1. Employers must clearly communicate what’s expected of people.
The number of tardies and absences allowed is one of those
expectations, which is why the Point System is used by companies
from Walmart (the world’s largest employer, with 2,300,000
employees), to small Mom and Pops.
2. If an employee
can’t stay under the number of tardies and absences the company
allows, then that company is not a place for them to work.
No matter what business you’re in, the first requirement
of being a good team member is that other team members must be
able to rely on you to show up when you’re supposed to.
To Your Success,
A woman who attended my seminar in Los Angeles said, “I
agree. But what if an employee’s job function is non-critical
and their absence doesn’t create any additional workload for
coworkers?” My response: “If an employee’s absence is hardly
noticed, why are you even employing that person? Eliminate that
position and use the money to reward other employees whose jobs
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