Employee punctuality encouraged in tough job market


Although evidence is indicating a bit of a thaw in the job market, and December figures came in better than expected, the situation still isn’t anything to write home about. That fact of life puts a premium on taking care of the job you have, but nevertheless, a survey found a slight increase in employee tardiness last year.

CareerBuilder has a study out looking at the issue of tardiness – it found that 16% admitted to being late for work at least once a week, up from 15% in 2010. The number had increased by the same margin when compiled for once-a-month tardiness, rising from 26% to 27%.

Although employers in many cases are said to be more tolerant of occasional tardiness than in the past, it can still be a problem.

“Punctuality – or lack thereof – can impact how your commitment, reliability and performance are perceived by your employer,” said Rosemary Haefner, VP Human Resources at CareerBuilder. “One of the best ways to make sure you get to work on time is to get organized and plan ahead. Lay out whatever you’ll need for the workday the night before, plan to be at the office early, account for expected commute delays and eliminate distractions in your morning routine.”

CareerBuilder listed the most common excuses:
* Traffic – 31 percent of workers
* Lack of sleep – 18 percent
* Bad weather – 11 percent
* Getting kids to school or daycare – 8 percent

It also provided a list of “outrageous” excuses cited by respondents to its survey, some of which are odd, some of which are less than intelligent, and two of which turned out to be true:
* Employee’s cat had the hiccups.
* Employee thought she had won the lottery (she didn’t).
* Employee got distracted watching the TODAY Show.
* Employee’s angry roommate cut the cord to his phone charger, so it didn’t charge and his alarm didn’t go off.
* Employee believed his commute time should count toward his work hours.
* Employee claimed a fox stole her car keys.
* Employee’s leg was trapped between the subway car and the platform (turned out to be true).
* Employee said he wasn’t late because he had no intention of getting to work before 9:00 a.m. (his start time was 8:00 a.m.)
* Employee was late because of a job interview with another firm.
* Employee had to take a personal call from the state governor (turned out to be true).

RBR-TVBR observation: Tardiness is more tolerable in some positions than others. Back in our teaching days, we received a very uncomfortable phone call from a vice principal about how first period was in progress and wondering if we would be showing up for second period. This provides a lesson for air staff – if you’re going to commit an employee transgression, pick something other than tardiness.