When you promise clients your employees are going to start work at their properties at a specific time, you want to make sure they do.

Tardy employees cramp your professional style. Here, LawnSite.com members share the tardiness policies they put in place that work for them.

Q: Michael Ward: What are some common tardiness policies?

A: larryinalabama: If you leave the shop at 8 a.m. and the employees aren’t there yet, just leave without them. They will figure out the hours sooner or later.

Spence92: Three strikes and you’re out!

grassmonkey0311: First offense results in a verbal warning, second offense results in a written warning, third offense means a second written warning and the fourth offense means termination.

The only reason I go to four is to show the unemployment office I gave them enough chances and they still screwed up. They get a 15-minute grace period because this area is horrible with traffic.

McFarland_Lawn_Care: In certain circumstances I make exceptions. Bottom line: it can’t be a habit. I’m human. I understand stuff happens at times we can’t control, but as a rule everyone has to be on time. If an employee is late a lot, then there are probably other issues as well, so we will let them go. Plus, it’s disrespectful to the other employees.

Junior M: We typically start between 6 and 7 a.m. If you call me and tell me you’re going to be a few minutes late – with a valid excuse and before you’re actually late – I let it slide the first few times before I say anything.

When employees are hired, I let them know if they’re late they might as well stay home. I’ve had guys roll in at 7:15 when start time was at 7, and I sent them home as soon as they walked in – even if we haven’t left the shop yet.

Michael Ward: Our employees work very hard and really care about the work they do. Unfortunately, some of them struggle with being five to 10 minutes late fairly often. It has been difficult to find high quality employees who truly care, so I would hate to have to replace any of them. We are located in an area in which we don’t have a ton of access to people looking for jobs. So if you send an employee home for being late, are you able to get all of your work done being a man down? I can see that being an issue for us.

Subiz: I pay like no others do. Part of my pay is 50 cents extra per hour for every hour that you work that day if you are on time. If you aren’t on time, you miss out on 50 cents per hour all day.

crusty_crab80: Why would you give a 15-minute grace period? Why would you pay 50 cents extra?

Tardiness is a bad trait. If work starts at 7 a.m., then everybody should be there before 7, preferably 6:55. If the employee lives 45 minutes away, then leaving with sufficient time to get to work is their responsibility. Traffic, accidents, breakdowns, etc. can be forgiven a time or two, but generally it’s three strikes and you’re out.

The 50 cents extra is a good idea. But then you’re opening up a door: “Hey, I just referred work,” “Hey, I just took out the office trash.”

How about tardiness results in a 50-cent per hour pay deduction? Or give out performance bonuses?

Join this discussion on LawnSite.com here.