The Perpetually Tardy Employee

The problem: A common problem facing supervisors is the perpetually tardy employee.  Take Pedro, who had supervised Harvey for some time.  Harvey was often late to work, and Pedro tried everything to help him get to work on time.  He told Harvey to get an alarm clock (Harvey would forget to set it), to get a more reliable car (Harvey said he couldn’t afford it), ask his wife to wake him (she too would oversleep), etc. etc. Nothing worked. He also experimented with giving Harvey a later start time of 8:00, but he still came in late.  Pedro was at his wit’s end. 

What to do?  The problem here was that the solutions were Pedro’s, not Harvey’s.  Thus, if the solution failed, it was Pedro’s fault for providing a poor solution.  So Pedro changed his approach.  He told Harvey he was expected to be at work at 7:00, and told him to provide a plan outlining what he would do to arrive on time.  Though initially Harvey had a hard time developing the plan, once he did and it was HIS plan, his on-time arrival record improved dramatically. ~DS

3 responses to “The Perpetually Tardy Employee

  1. Concise and very applicable.

  2. I’ve been recently wondering about the very same issue personally recently. Delighted to see another person on the same wavelength! Nice article.

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