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  • David Roman

    May 1, 2017 at 9:03 am

    This has been a massive problem for me. I went from a one man shop to having two technicians and a service advisor.

    No one (except myself) gets to work on time. As I write this, it is 8:59AM. I’ll be lucky to see my first employee arrive before 9:15AM. The other two will trickle in over the next 30 minutes.

    I’ve instituted a tardiness policy. I even gave out my first “incident” report noting the technician’s tardiness.

    It hasn’t curtailed the problem.

    I’ve been told that inconsistent corrective action is tantamount to not giving any at all.

    So, is the solution giving corrective action over and over again? How many should I issue before I terminate their employment?

    Should I have defined this in the policy I wrote?

  • Tom

    May 1, 2017 at 10:30 am

    A few minutes once in  great while – well – it happens. Beyond that, try this – easy to say, but not always easy to do.

    Tell them professionally and politely that if they are not on time tomorrow, they will be sent home to try again the next day. (You never terminate anyone this way, they terminate themselves if they never come in on time.)

    Then do it. Most employees will then be on time – a few will quit.

    This is just one of those fundamental things that you can’t allow to go untreated if you are going to have a successful business.

  • David Roman

    May 1, 2017 at 11:06 am

    Thanks Tom,

    I appreciate the advice.


  • johnschindel

    May 2, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    I’ve had good success with an approach similar to Tom’s.  If it’s just one or two employees I’ll usually have a private conversation with them.  I’d also bring up punctuality in the weekly meetings with technicians and writers, to try and stay ahead of it, by putting a reminder in my outlook calendar every 3-6 months or so.

  • mtnmods

    May 4, 2017 at 10:39 am

    I’ve gotten my crew to all within 5 minutes of the hour over many years and tears. I don’t want to bust anyone’s chops for an occasional 5 minutes. However, I had the same two of my four guys consistently slightly late 1-2x per week and then 3-5 minutes late three days in a row and I was done. It shows an utter lack of respect for everyone’s time and efforts and is a slap in the face to my lead who is here 20 minutes early every day to open and prep for the day.

    I did what Tom mentioned and sent them both home (It was signed, written policy which is critical). Next whole week, I let my lead leave right when he was finished and made the other techs pull all the cars in and close down. Everyone is now on time and aware that late is late is late and will be written up if they’re late twice in 30 days. If written up, they forfeit any team bonus for the month. Second write-up is an immediate day off without pay. Third in 90 days is termination. I’ve never had to terminate for tardiness. One tech was late a third time (so I thought), and he never came back in. Therefore he quit and I didn’t have to pay unemployment. Win/win.

    Its tough love. On the flip side, I’ll shut down a 1/2 hour early on a nice day and/or take the crew to lunch after a couple weeks of stellar attendance and attitudes. It’s happy and upbeat because they have clear boundaries, clear consequences and clear rewards.


  • David Roman

    May 4, 2017 at 11:40 am

    My hesitancy in pushing my current written and signed policy is that I feel it doesn’t have any bite to it. My lead technician does all of my difficult and sensitive work. My second technician only does the easier stuff. He doesn’t have the knowledge or skillset to do the harder work… And he’s slow (he doesn’t want to make mistakes).

    I’m currently hiring for a third technician. I’m hoping that my threats of termination over attendance become more effective since I’ll actually have someone here capable of replacing my lead tech.

    Or maybe it is all in my head…

  • Alan Ollie

    May 4, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    My manager just sends the person home.

    They get paid on a sliding scale so if they get no hr one day they get hurt bad.

    Usually they will come in part of their day off to make up for it.

  • catonauto

    May 4, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    I saw this feed and read through it briefly and have a few leading questions:

    1) If your policy does not spell out consequences and corrective actions did you really write a policy or more of a corrective hope?

    2) If you open at 9 and they are there over 15 mins late daily you can’t schedule anything for right at 9 meaning either you have lost potential for earning or pissed off a customer. Neither of which is good.

    My suggestion- rewrite the policy to spell out exact parameters. Let your technicians know you are frustrated by their lack of respect to your shop and your customers and therefore you will be adhering to the new policy word for word. By the third day you may run the risk of needing a new crew but, if they dont care enough to be there on time did you really lose anyone valuable?

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