Millennials (loosely defined as those born between 1980 and 2000) tend to have a bad reputation. They’ve been described in social media as “entitled,” “hyper,” “pampered,” and other disparaging words. And recently, they’ve been criticized for their tendency to leave work early.
But the fact is that this trend isn’t restricted to millennials. And it’s not a new thing: A quick Google search of “Employees who leave early” results in articles from as long ago as 2011. If you’re running into this problem at your business, you may be wondering what you should do – or even how much you can do. We have you covered with this list of steps to take to deal with employees who regularly clock out early.
Get the Full Story.
That employee who seems to be skipping out prematurely may have adjusted their own schedule to meet their needs. They may be a parent who has to pick up the kids at 3:30, so they’ve quietly been coming into work at 6 a.m. to make up the difference. But you won’t know unless you ask. Talk with your employee in a non-threatening manner to see if something is going on in their life that requires an accommodation.
Consider Whether the Work Is Getting Done.
In some work environments, having a somewhat flexible schedule isn’t a big deal – that is, as long as business needs are being met. Depending on your organization’s attendance policies, it may be totally acceptable to leave early and come back in during “off hours” to complete work on a project.
Consider Your Options.
If the employee leaving work early directly reports to you, and it’s negatively affecting their work, then it’s time to check your management manual to see what kind of leverage you have in dealing with the problem. Is counseling appropriate? Is it something that can be addressed in a performance review? Look over the steps you can take, make a decision and stick to it.
Keep an Open Line of Communication.
Of course, the best way to deal with an attendance problem is to make sure it doesn’t become a problem in the first place. Be crystal clear about your expectations for your team when it comes to attendance. If you are willing and able to be flexible in this area, let them know that, too. Above all, make sure they know your door is always open, and that you desire to help them succeed – both on the job and away from it.
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