Workplace Tardiness Affects Staff Morale and Business Operations

  • Posted by: J. Kent Gervasini |
  • 1/8/17 |
  • 11:00 AM
Workplace Tardiness Affects Staff Morale and Business Operations

Did you know that workplace tardiness (lateness) costs U.S. businesses more than $3 billion annually?

Counterproductive work behavior (CWB) is employee behavior that goes against the legitimate interests of an organization. Workplace deviance is behavior at work that violates norms for appropriate behavior.

Is Workplace Tardiness Counter Productive Work Behavior, or Does it Violate the Norm?
Those two sentences certainly get my attention, and they made me think about the workplace tardiness problem. Is workplace tardiness a counter productive work behavior? Does workplace tardiness violate the norms of appropriate business behavior? When we think about how much time and energy goes into managing this type of behavior by the Denver employer, one could certainly conclude in a frustrated moment, that workplace tardiness is not in the best interest of any organization, and in the business world, is not considered normal or expected behavior.

Workplace Tardiness Affects Staff Morale, Lowers Respect and Negatively Impacts Business Operations
Workplace tardiness has serious consequences for the employee and employer alike. Tardy employees affect the morale and motivation of others. Furthermore, if the tardy employee's behavior is not managed immediately by your firm’s supervisory or management staff, employees' respect for your organization is lowered. On the other hand, tolerance of workplace tardiness by company management also affects your company’s loss of productivity to include interruption of work flow, employee efficiencies, loss of team participation, on-time delivery of services and customer service issues, etc.

Looking the Other Way – There Will be a Breaking Point for Management
A lenient boss that might look the other way and continue to put up with an employee’s late appearance is not helping to promote a positive corporate culture, which is not in the best interest of your organization. As the problem gets worse, if not addressed, there will be a breaking point for management eventually.

On-Time Arrival in the Workplace is a Minimum Standard and a Basic Work Ethic
For young professionals and recent college graduates just entering the workforce, setting expectations in regards to job punctuality is most helpful. Yes, for some employees, being late is a way of defining themselves and a way of life. But I really cannot imagine that one can feel good about themselves when they have let down the company that provides them with a paycheck, as well as their department or team.

Likewise, looking the other way by management must be troublesome as well. Management and supervisory staff are responsible for setting minimum workplace behavior standards and then managing to those standards. This is a simple, straightforward management responsibility.

Nip it in the Bud
So, nip it in the bud, and address the problem. You will see morale improve, respect for management go up, and every employee will be more productive in the work for which they were hired.

Lateness Costs U.S. Business More than $3 Billion Annually

Lateness is described as arriving at work later or leaving earlier than required. Problems associated with lateness include compromised organizational efficiency. Tardy and late employees responsible for critical tasks can negatively affect organizational production. Other workers may experience psychological effects of the tardy employee including morale and motivational problems as they attempt to "pick up the slack." Other employees may begin to imitate the example set by the behavior of tardy employees. Lateness costs US business more than $3 billion annually.

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