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Thread: Poor time keeping

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    Platinum Member sterne.law@gmail.com's Avatar
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    Poor time keeping

    I am sure many of us have issues with poor timekeeping. Some employers allow a period of grace, while others stick rigidly to the time rule. As employers we do need to account for the transport, and as much as it is a problem, we also know that employees use this as an excuse. When chatting to my managers a question that arose was when is a warning issued, particularly if we want to exercise some allowance for the various problems. Of course an answer of ‘depends on circumstances” does not help much so I put together a scoring system. Thought I would put it up for comment, thoughts and ideas.

    5-10 minutes late = 1 point
    10-20 minutes late = 2 point
    20 minutes or more = 3 points

    A warning, the relevant one (verbal, written etc) is issued when the employee has 3 points.
    When a warning is issued, the points are removed and employee starts on zero.
    Points carry over from month to month over a 2-month period, remembering if a warning was issued the points are zeroed. If the employee accumulates 4 points in the 2 months, a warning is issued. Thus being late 4 times by 5 minutes gets a warning, or 15 minutes late twice, earns a warning or a combination, say late by 15 minutes once and twice being late by 5 minutes, earns a warning.
    It is possible that the employee might earn a verbal, 2 written, a final and ultimately dismissal, purely on this system. It may sound harsh but in essence, the employee has accumulated 20 points over a possible ten month period, meaning they were late 20 times, which is a problem.

    Of course the first question being asked is what about the recording system. And I think each enterprise would work out a way. Some might just check the time books weekly or at end of the month and issue the relevant warning and carry over the points into the new time book, would be one way.

    Comments please.
    Anthony Sterne

    www.acumenholdings.co.za
    DISCLAIMER The above is merely a comment in discussion form and an open public arena. It does not constitute a legal opinion or professional advice in any manner or form.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    There's something a little magical about a clock card system when it comes to time-keeping. I ran for years without one, but after a trot of pretty sloppy time-keeping we resolved to put one in. It really made quite a difference.

    When it comes to being stroppy about it, my tendency is to look for repeat offenders. When it comes to valid reasons for being late, whether it's 15 minutes or an hour doesn't change whether the reason is valid. I know just how late they are does influence how much of a disruption it is to the business - but if "being fair" is about validity of reason, just how late they are shouldn't count for much when designing a disciplinary system. (just my opinion).
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Moderator IanF's Avatar
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    I instituted a time and attendance system.
    When giving increases a 5% bonus was included. Then they lose 1% for each day they are late and the whole 5% if they are absent without informing us in advance. Most months you pay the whole 5%. But the workers know the cost if they are late. Of course it is applied with compassion.
    Only stress when you can change the outcome!

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    Diamond Member tec0's Avatar
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    Honestly if that 20 minutes is so important that you will fire people then it is time to look at your transport structure because I for one “if I was working for you” will take a photo of every traffic jam, pothole and keep records of every speeding ticket and let us not forget “extra hours because you have to be there 60minutes earlier than normal.”

    And if that CCMA hearing comes I would state “I did everything humanly possible to get on work on time” hand them a hand full of photos and other records that “might be” relevant and then continue with the proceedings. Then I would love to be a fly on that wall.

    See don’t get me wrong on your proposal I do feel people abuse excuses but sometimes one must understand that there are really not much you can do about this problem, because it is an inevitability that your employees will be late for work a few times, and by default “dismissal” becomes inevitable as well.

    You are basically guaranteeing that your employees will get fired within the year “especially with our decaying roads and bad traffic”

    There is some real potential for legal pitfalls here make sure that your system is not unreasonable and I bet you if you give your employees a bit of incentive they will not be late.
    peace is a state of mind
    Disclaimer: everything written by me can be considered as fictional.

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    Gold Member daveob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tec0 View Post
    And if that CCMA hearing comes I would state “I did everything humanly possible to get on work on time” hand them a hand full of photos and other records that “might be” relevant and then continue with the proceedings. Then I would love to be a fly on that wall.
    Besides any mass late arrivals due to transport sector stikes, etc, I would gladly also give the CCMA a copy of the time records of the other 25 people in the company that DID arrive on time for work every day.

    Quote Originally Posted by tec0 View Post
    and I bet you if you give your employees a bit of incentive they will not be late.
    so what you're saying, is that the "bit of incentive" will magically make the traffic jams disperse and the pot-holes disappear ?

    When I was an appy, we lived on the East Rand and I working in Jhb. I got up at 3am, walked an hour to the train station, caught a train to Jhb and then walked from the station to Jeppestown, all to get to work by 6:30 am.

    I didn't use the traffic / roads / trains / sick dog / dead granny ( again ) as excuses - I simply did what I had to do to get to work on time - I was NEVER late.

    The incentive -- keep my job.

    So what's your excuse ? Pick one for the day / week.
    Watching the ships passing by.

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    Platinum Member desA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    There's something a little magical about a clock card system when it comes to time-keeping. I ran for years without one, but after a trot of pretty sloppy time-keeping we resolved to put one in. It really made quite a difference.
    In Sweden, a large company I consulted to, used a form of time-card system. Each employee had an electronic namecard which was swiped through the machine. As I recall, the financial controller managed the time-related issues. I suspect that their monthly payments were linked to their timekeeping.

    I personally think that a no-show, or slow-show, should result in lost income for the time missed. A worked could be given an opportunity to make up for this, in cases where flexitime schemes are in place.
    In search of South African Technology Nuggets(R), for sale & trading in South East Asia.

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    Diamond Member tec0's Avatar
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    daveob > So what's your excuse ? Pick one for the day / week.
    Ouch!

    Well, here is the problem. See you woke up at 3 and walked for an hour. Today if you woke up at 3 am and you walk for an hour you will be dead “murdered” before 4 am. Secondly if you actually get to the train-station and belief me our train-station is a war zone. You will not get to work at all on account you will probably be bleeding out while you are stripped of your clothing.

    Keep that in mind...

    Now as for incentive: Just give the employee his 30 minutes on their payslip. If they pitch up for work 30 minutes before the time and start working then I see no reason not to. Yes keeping your job as incentive is probably also a good way of doing it.

    But tell you what come lunch time all your employees will have a good long look at the job mail section because basically you just want to fire them anyway... So they will be shopping.
    peace is a state of mind
    Disclaimer: everything written by me can be considered as fictional.

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    Diamond Member tec0's Avatar
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    See the fact is, most companies have similar systems and it works effectively well. My 1 friend that works at a steel-mill clocks in 1 hour before sift change because A > he gets paid for that 1 hour and B > he can take his time driving to work with traffic and all. It is only when the roads are closed when he is late for work. And that happens only when the fog gets really bad...

    So his incentive is A > get paid for an extra hour B > Find out if there was any mishaps or anything he must know. C > Can take his time driving to work. Now since he started showing up for work early. His friends started to do the same and there is a lot less stress... So much so that the big bosses started to take notice. Now this is the truth and you can say what you want. If you are the boss and you are willing to give a little you actually are getting a lot more...
    Last edited by tec0; 07-Feb-10 at 12:02 PM.
    peace is a state of mind
    Disclaimer: everything written by me can be considered as fictional.

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    Gold Member daveob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tec0 View Post
    Ouch!

    Well, here is the problem. See you woke up at 3 and walked for an hour. Today if you woke up at 3 am and you walk for an hour you will be dead “murdered” before 4 am. Secondly ......
    blah, blah, blah ... you're missing the point.

    Yes, times have changed and at the time I lived in a white suburb, rode at the front of the train, etc. I accept that.

    But what you seem to be missing is the fact that I'm not talking about the specifics here, but rather the general employee attitude to the job. In my hey-day, the job was the centre of ones universe. You didn't arrive late. You didn't bunk. You just didn't stuff around. The employer was giving the employee the opportunity to make something of himself. In my case, I was the first in the history of the company ( a large company ) to become a night shift foreman while still an appy, and thereafter the youngest 'account executive'. Why ? not cos I was bright - I admit I am not the Einstein in the family - I just work hard and was dedicated to my job and got the job done.

    Now you can nit-pick all you want about what would happen if you were, today, in the same situation as I was back then, but the fact remains, I didn't make excuses. Didn't matter what the situation was - train / bus / dead granny / stike action / taxi delays, etc - fact was that I, and many others around me, made "a plan".

    Yes, we had to sacrifice. Be it personal time / convenience / whatever, we made it happen.

    Maybe your job just isn't important enough to you to make that kind of sacrifice. Maybe there are just so many others out there that feel the same. But just cos you've got common numbers, doesn't mean you're right.

    Fact is, work performance has decreased, poor attendance has increased, job satisfaction is down, promotions are hap-hazard ( mostly hazard-ous ) and numerous other problems.

    Who's to blame ?? The employer who is constantly being let down and is struggling to make, and keep, new business, and constantly can't find a single employee capable of fulfilling a managerial or supervisory capacity, or the employee who just doesn't care if the company survives, but runs and cries to the ccma one things go pear shaped ?

    So what's your story ? You gonna sit there and think of more excuses, or are you going to be a "solutions" person ? Trust me - 30 years of work experience down the line, and I can promise you that you get a lot farther a lot faster being a "solutions" person.

    Sure, if you got a genuine gripe, get it out your system and then move on.

    Or as the movies say, "Make a dump or get off the pie".

    Just a thought -- 2c
    Watching the ships passing by.

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    Diamond Member tec0's Avatar
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    So what's your story ? You gonna sit there and think of more excuses, or are you going to be a "solutions" person ? Trust me - 30 years of work experience down the line, and I can promise you that you get a lot farther a lot faster being a "solutions" person.
    What is my story?

    Right first of I used to work for free at one of the largest companies in South Africa. I woke up at 5 got ready and “somehow” organized a lift witch I paid for by fixing old computers. Now hard work and dedication worked for you...

    When there was an opening in this very large company who did you think got the job? Well not the dude that worked for free for a year and 3 months. “And before you say BS I GOT prove!” No someone’s daddy pulled a string and I was left with nothing and all my dedication and all my sacrifices were given a nice big nothing.

    So yes hard work and dedication is a load of BS. People that are hard working gets abused and left out in the cold.

    Still you know what the real messed up thing is??? You must prove yourself over and over again by accepting none-payment work for six f@cking months only to hear: Sorry but we got someone with qualifications.

    And one more thing: running to the CCMA is disliked by the big bosses! Want to know why? Because they can’t get away with BS anymore...

    Case and point: I know people want 200% out of every worker and yes you need to work hard to get ahead in life. BUT you get bosses that will just sit around and think up BS to get people fired so that they don’t have to provide training, and whatever else that was promised.

    This time thing is just 1 more tool that is all it is.
    peace is a state of mind
    Disclaimer: everything written by me can be considered as fictional.

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