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How to Negotiate With People to Come to Work on Time

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Tardiness is a frustrating, yet common occurrence among employees in the workplace. For some managers and business owners, getting their employees to come to work on time is an ongoing problem. Knowing how to talk to and negotiate with your staff can not only get them to come in on time, but can also get them excited about coming in as well. In addition, being a responsible leader and caring about your employees can encourage them to be punctual.

Come to work on time to set a good example. You can’t expect your staff to come in on time when you can’t. Show them you take the job seriously and are determined to get to work on time by getting there when you are supposed to or even a bit early. If they see you making an effort to be punctual, they may make the same effort as well.

Ask your employees why they are tardy to work. If the reasons are actually unavoidable, such as issues with their children’s or spouse’s schedule or travel arrangements, adjust their schedules to times that allow them to get to work when they are supposed to, if possible.

Tell your employees they are allowed a certain amount of tardiness before they suffer negative consequences. Create a system that allows the staff to be late two or three days as long as they call in notify you of their lateness. If they go past the allotted amount, they will be written up. After three write-ups, they are suspended or fired. If your employees know they will face consequences, it may deter them from being tardy.

Tell your employees they will receive awards for coming in on time. For instance, if the staff comes in on time for a month, treat them to a catered lunch. You could also give awards for those who go the longest without being late, such as gift cards or an extra vacation day.


Yelling at or being demeaning to your staff for their tardiness may cause them to be even more unconcerned with the job and may create more displeasure in the work environment. Therefore, always be respectful when negotiating with your employees.