How does your facility define "Lateness to work"

  1. Have counseled 2 staff members for lateness since 12/06 following health systems progressive counseling policy (met 3 x so far, signed form by staff each time acknowledgeing must be on time), informed last time final expectations with intent to dismiss if late more than 1 x in 2 week pay. Each is late 3-4 + days/ week by 15-45 min without notice....unable arrive for 12 noon shift start!
    Because referrals are awaiting processing by them, unable to get information timely to other departments. Both live with parents, no kids, no known medical issues as reason for lateness.

    One reached final expectations with intent to terminate, informed must be on time 2 weeks ago, only 1 x per last pay arrived at 12N . Today both arrived at 12:40P ---no notice and told intend to Terminate, setting up meeting with HR tomorrow.....they acted SHOCKED!

    Other staff member, acknowledged being late but thought 15 minutes "ok and acceptable business practice"

    Meeting with HR to see what is considered "acceptable" lateness by agency standards.

    What is considered "late" at your facility and how is it handled?
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Apr 11, '07
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    About NRSKarenRN, BSN, RN Moderator

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    40 Comments

  3. by   canoehead
    Five minutes early is on time IMO, arriving on the dot is late because you have to put away coat, get coffee, etc.

    If you have told them you expect them to be there at a certain time during counselling sessions there should be no debate as to what is acceptable. You've made acceptable vrs unacceptable very clear. If after that discussion they called ahead and said they would be 15 min late, very sorry, unavoidable, etc then, sure, that's forgiveable, but it doesn't sound like they are taking your concerns seriously at all.
  4. by   XYRNMN
    Our e-clock rounds everything from x:55 to x:05 as clocking in at x:00.

    If you swipe your badge at x:06, it rounds it to x:15 and you are late.

    As far as serious tardiness, I believe that if you arrive one minute past a half hour after your scheduled start, it is as bad as a No Call/No Show.
    Even if you work the rest of the shift, it's still as serious as an NC/NS.

    After one of those, you meet with the mgr.
    After two, you meet with mgr + HR.

    After three, you turn in your badge and start looking for a new job.


    Personally, I like to show up 15 minutes before I have to clock in.
    Like someone else mentioned: early is on time, on time is late.
    If you start out running behind, your whole shift can be screwed up.

    -K
  5. by   RNsRWe
    Good Lord, there's just some people on this planet on whom a work ethic was never bestowed. Read something a year or two ago regarding generational differences, attitudes toward employment expectations and societal expectations, and the upshot was that the youngest generation of workers (twenty-somethings) overall have a greater tendency to believe themselves exempt from what had been common business practices for decades. Now, don't everyone go freaking out, saying "I'm not like that", I'm talking about a broad-scope, nationwide phenomenon whereby those children raised with excessive praise just for being themselves and raised to believe they are special just by their very existence (super self-esteem) have turned into adults who aren't taking responsibility for themselves the way generations before them have done.

    These two employees are the very example of which I write. Who knows, maybe they're each in their forties, but they sure sound like the generation of people sociologists are worrying about. They feel it's fine to arrive late, because the job will wait for them. Totally unrealistic, but that's the world they live in.

    What to do about it? Don't humor them, don't give them a dozen chances; it actually sounds like they got WAY more opportunities than they ever deserved. Makes it worse for the rest of us who actually DO show up on time, ready to work. This is timely for me because I see it (the "I'm special, everyone owes me" mentality) myself, and it infuriates me.

    As far as the original question posed, my facility has recently POSTED its official policy, probably in response to the aforementioned problem. It says that if anyone is clocked in 8 or more minutes late, it's LATE, and if that happens four times in a two month period, it's habitual, subject to personnel action, etc etc. Doesn't leave alot of room for the slackers, so we'll see!

    **just noticed something in the original post: those employees each live with their parents, no kids....yep, the very definition of the Super Self-Esteem club, lol! They haven't fully become adults because they are still in their childhood roles, and probably will be until some reality slaps them in the face. Like living on their own, rent to pay, and such.
    Last edit by RNsRWe on Apr 11, '07 : Reason: quick addition
  6. by   kittagirl
    When I worked on the wards (floor) 5 mins, without prior warning was considered unacceptable. After all most people have mobile phones, and if you're leaving home or sat in traffic 20mins away from work, and you're due to start in 5 mins you know you're late!

    This is a bit of a bugbear of mine while been late once in a while is expected, you can't plan for everything, constant lateness to me indicates at best disorganisation at worst lack of respect for the person waiting for you.


    As for
    Other staff member, acknowledged being late but thought 15 minutes "ok and acceptable business practice"
    That maybe ok in other businesses, but not when a colleague is waiting to go home.
    Fair enough in an office situation where there may be flexible hours and others aren't relying on you.

    Quite honestly you've given them enough warnings, they have chosen not to take them seriously.

    Back to your question, now that I've had a little rant.
    Our shift started at 07:30, this meant that you were ready to take handover at this time (not getting a drink, or chatting, or hanging up your coat) you were in the office, or at the bedside ready to go. Obviously someone rushing in clearly flustered and making a real effort to get there on time you turned a blind eye, it was the ones who sauntered in, calm as anything that hacked me off.
    Time keeping was taken very seriously where I last worked. You had 15mins to hand over 15 patients, and senior manager regularly audited leaving times. And as the nurse leaving late you were the one who had to explain why, so oncoming staff being 5mins late had a big effect.

    Being late having forewarned the staff was treated more kindly but again only if it was an infrequent occurrence.

    On the wards I never saw it go any further than an formal written warning, the sequence would be, a quiet word from the senior nurse on shift, first time without prior notice, a quiet word from the ward manager 2nd time, an informal warning 3rd time with an action plan, a formal verbal warning which would be removed from your records if the action did not repeat in a fixed length of time i.e.: usually 3mths.
    I assume if that were broken/ ignored it would then go written warning with intent (i.e.: like you if it happens again we will terminate) and then dismissal

    Out of interest, were the two you're speaking of always late in leaving too? Just from my experience the persistent latecomers were always first out the door come end of their shift and had little to no sympathy for anyone else.
  7. by   ertravelrn
    The last perm. position I had, we could clock in from 7 till the hour until the hour, one minute over was late. People were counseled for every late clock in. So, for us, there was no acceptable lateness.
    I'm not sure what they did about it, but I know I heard people grumble because at some point their jobs were in jeopardy.
    I too believe on time is being early enough to put your things away, get coffee, chat, whatever. Once you clock in you should be working.
  8. by   justme1972
    I obviously don't work in a hospital, but with the availability of cell phones, there is just no excuse that if you are running late for a legitimate reason, not to call.

    I don't think there is a legitimate reason to be that late over and over again, and not call on top of it.

    I personally, look at it as a safety issue. I have always made it clear to my co-workers and bosses, that if I should ever not come in or be more than 15 minutes late to work without calling, you can safely assume to pick up the phone and call the police, because something has gone seriously wrong.

    Could there possibly be a substance abuse problem? After all, 12:00 noon can be hard to wake up for if you are up all night.
  9. by   locolorenzo22
    That's crazy that they're late for a 12 NOON shift start. We run 5-5 at our facility and the 5PMs are always on time, the 5AMs usually on there by 4:55 or so. 2-3 like to show up at 5:05, which I don't mind, cause ok, 5AM is early. The one's who show up at 5:20, I can't stand, cause I just want to give report, do rounds and go home!
    Our e-clock goes from 7 mins to start of shift and 7 mins past as on time, anything else, you're docked. more then 1x/wk is crazy IMO.
  10. by   morte
    coming from one who is chronically late...but by that i mean not ready to take report ON THE dot of the expectation...so if i get to the floor at 11p i am still late....and have been as much as10 minutes (rare) 45 minutes just blows my mind! and to have no awareness of the "errors" of their ways....they need to mature into adults pretty darn soon.....many places that i have worked use the 7 before and 7 after....but i figure the if you are chronically closer to the 7 after even that will show up in your annual eval....
  11. by   Roy Fokker
    Hmm...

    HR recently changed our "clock in" times. Henceforth we will be scrutinized/penalized if we clock in more than "7 minutes" before the start of our shift (because of the 15 minute rounding rule).

    Clocking in even one minute after scheduled time is considered tardy/late.

    Technically, tardiness is bad for the record.

    But I've been on the floor 4+ months now and I see many 'habitual' late comers who barely elicit a comment from anyone (charge nurse included). In fact, when we know that so-and-so is scheduled, it's almost a given that they will be 'late'. This has supposedly been going on for some months/years.

    But maybe this new HR policy might change things. Who knows?


    cheers,

    PS: I like to get to work about 10-15 minutes before my scheduled time. Gives me time to put away things, stock myself, print sheets and mentally go over my assignments (and try to come up with planned interventions with available staff as required).

    As someone else mentioned: "Being on time is late". This is especially true on my surgical floor which has seen chronic under staffing (especially with CNAs). When you have 7/nurse with just one tech for half the night.... well, you wanna be there as early as you can!
  12. by   Quickbeam
    no kids
    I am of the belief that this is irrelevant. Many times I was the only one who ever showed up at my unit on time ready to work and was told "it's so easy for you, we have children". My mother worked every day of my life and was never late for work once.

    I agree with those who say that if you aren't on time, the degree of lateness doesn't matter. You can't be relied upon. No one can trust that you'll actually be there when you are supposed to be.

    I once watched as an entire unit fell apart because of one nurse's chronic lateness and the manager's desire to not confront it. I applaud anyone who takes on a chronically late employee. Thanks from all of us.
  13. by   styRN
    Clearly they just don't get it.

    Every place I've ever worked, showing up 10 min before your shift was considered being "on time"; where I am now, just showing up right on time would put us behind the 8-ball because we give verbal reports that take anywhere from 10-20 min.

    I've always shown the courtesy of being early for reporting and, back when I gave meds, to do narcotic and controlled drug counts, otherwise the nurse you're relieving gets out that much later.

    In addition, I punch a clock, and it rounds time to the nearest 10 minutes, so being one minute late clocks you in as 10 min late. Also, if someone is a no-show, we only wait 15 minutes and then we start calling in a replacement. If the employee waltzed in 30-60 min late (without excuse), they would be sent home without pay. If it happened twice, they'd be councelled and suspended for 3 days without pay. Third time gets them more councelling but also they can be terminated at this point and I've seen it. Chronic unexcused absenteeism affects quality of care, morale and is a huge safety risk to clients and staff.
  14. by   Cattitude
    Quote from Quickbeam
    I am of the belief that this is irrelevant. Many times I was the only one who ever showed up at my unit on time ready to work and was told "it's so easy for you, we have children". My mother worked every day of my life and was never late for work once.

    I agree with those who say that if you aren't on time, the degree of lateness doesn't matter. You can't be relied upon. No one can trust that you'll actually be there when you are supposed to be.

    I once watched as an entire unit fell apart because of one nurse's chronic lateness and the manager's desire to not confront it. I applaud anyone who takes on a chronically late employee. Thanks from all of us.
    I too say thanks. In my position now, I don't have a relief waiting for me so if i start out a little later well that just means I stay out a little later.

    When i worked bedside though or in a position where I needed to be precisely on time, I was. I hated not being relieved on time as well with the latecomers strolling in without a care in the world.

    So yes, I too thank you for taking on these late ones, hopefully they will learn something from this.

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