Being on time for work is a nonnegotiable element of career growth. Good attendance habits are an outgrowth of time management skills that you need for success on the job. Employees who cultivate these habits are more likely to get promoted than those who don't. Establishing a punctual track record also shows respect for co-workers' and supervisors' time, and indicates that you care enough about your work to put in a full day's pay to earn it.
Commitment to Productivity
Punctuality and productivity go together. Workplace tardiness costs U.S. employers around $3 billion annually, according to the Associated Landscapers of Colorado website. Employees who habitually show up late for work, take unauthorized breaks or spend time on non-business activities like personal calls can't help employers meet their objectives. The net loss of 10 minutes here or there can spiral into a pattern of counterproductive work behavior, as it's called, that short-changes employers and undermines an organization's best interest.
Fitness for Promotion
Whether you realize it or not, employers view attendance as a major sign of work ethic and motivation. Chronic tardiness shows complacency and lack of respect for co-workers who come in on time and meet deadlines, asserts Roxanne Peplow, a business career program instructor interviewed for Forbes magazine's September 2012 article, "14 Bad Habits That Can Cost You Your Job." An employer is unlikely to offer a tardy employee additional opportunities to distinguish himself, which is essential in getting promoted. Instead, you risk being fired, demoted or stuck in the same position where you started.
Positive Peer Relations
Failure to develop good attendance habits jeopardizes relations with co-workers and supervisors -- especially at small companies, where one person's absence will drastically affect the workflow. Arriving late or leaving early on a regular basis can arouse resentment among co-workers who suddenly have to take on extra tasks or cover a shift without you. Even if your work is exceptional, your colleagues may accuse the boss of showing favoritism. Managers who don't address this issue risk an erosion of corporate morale and productivity once employees start questioning why they're held to a different attendance standard.
Attendance problems may brand you as a troubled employee. Your apparent inability or unwillingness to watch the clock may convince the boss that he's hired someone who indulges in risky behavior, like substance abuse. In response, he might order an in-depth review of your work record and performance. You may then have to enter an employee assistance program to avoid losing your job. If you complete such a program successfully, expect intense scrutiny after you return to work and attempt to rebuild your professional credibility.