How do I handle a team member who comes to job late. I have warned them and I don’t want to report them to my manager?
As team leader you are correct in that you ought to be responsible for first line discipline in your team. I assume this is a recurring issue and not just a one-off?
The first thing to do is to take the team member to task, ask for an explanation for their lateness and suggest ways in which they can ensure they are not late in future. What you do next depends on what they tell you about their reason for lateness.
For example, if they say “the traffic was bad” suggest they leave home earlier. If they say “the train was late”, advise them to get an earlier train. Don’t let them hide behind excuses and other people: they must take charge of their own lives and not just let things happen to them. It is their job to work around these issues and arrive on time. That is the contract between you.
Let them know that they are expected to arrive on time for work, otherwise they may be disciplined. What measures can you take? Can you have them make up the time later in the day -at lunchtime or by staying late? Can you arrange to have the time lost docked from their wages? If not discuss with your manager that you need the ability to do that. No responsibility without authority.
Also impress on them that they are letting the team down as well as themselves, and in particular are putting you in a difficult position as your job depends on maintaining effective discipline. If they get away with being late and you don’t take action, why should everyone else make the effort to be punctual?
On the other hand, you may find it is not entirely within their control what time they leave home and arrive at work. Bear in mind that if this person has caring responsibilities, for parents or children perhaps, it may be more difficult for them to be prompt each day. Maybe they have to make an older or disabled person comfortable for the day before they leave home, or they have to drop a child at school at a fixed time.
Does your work situation allow you to offer a flexible solution? This may not work in a processing plant where you have to staff a production line but there are many situations where you could have staggered starts , for example in retail, or office environments.
If this is the case, and they are otherwise a satisfactory worker, then you could take a different approach and try to facilitate an arrangement that works better for both parties. Can you accommodate them with a more flexible start time, or allow them to work through a break to catch up? Can you change their hours?
In this situation, they will probably welcome your intervention as they are almost certainly putting themselves under pressure to get to work as soon as possible. An empathetic response from you, representing management, will have a great effect on team morale.
Of course, it is possible others will ask for the same arrangement, it will be up to you to assess their situation and judge whether you should extend the offer to them.
It is good practice as team leader to know a little of the background situation of each of your team. They will be motivated to do their best work for a team leader who shows interest and concern for them.