Get advice on how to deal with jerks at work Check out the book 'Jerks At Work' and other titles by Ken Lloyd Ph.D. Return to the homepage Learn more about Ken Lloyd, Ph.D. Submit a question to Ken Lloyd, Ph.D.

You asked, Ken answers ...

This item is filed under these categories:
Absenteeism/Tardiness Feedback Disciplining Policies and Procedures Manipulation

I have an employee who is late at least three days a week, usually by ten or twenty minutes. I have spoken to him about this on numerous occasions, and he says he will try to improve, and for a week or two he does, but then he's late again. Now when I meet with him, he says the problem is that the company should have a flextime plan. What do you think?

Your tardy employee has lately been pulling a clever switch by shifting the blame for his tardiness from himself to you and the company. Instead of a tardy issue, he has reframed it as a flextime issue. These are two entirely separate matters.

Looking first at his tardiness, you should do more than talk to him, and he needs to do more than try to improve. You should document his tardiness, let him know it is unacceptable, tell him the consequences if it continues.

Flextime, which gives employees more control over when they arrive and leave work, has many advantages, but it is not for every company. For example, if you have employees whose work calls for a high degree of interdependence, or if you have business relations in other time zones that could be compromised if employees arrive later to work, then flextime may not be right. However, just to go a step further, perhaps telecommuting is the answer.

These are all matters for management to explore, while the only question your employee needs to explore is how to get himself to work on time.

Comment on this item

Your name (optional)
If you leave this blank, we'll list you as "Website visitor"

Your comments
Please keep your comments focused on the topic. Thanks!