Dinesh Divekar
Business Mentor, Consultant And Trainer
Legal Analyst, Hrm
Adoni Suguresh
Sr.executive (per & Adm)
Learning & Teaching Fellow (retired)
Retired From Air India
Legal Consultancy
Deputy Manager (hr)
S B Pandey
Mktg Coordinator/service
Abdul Quadir Awate
Hr & Admin Head
Deputy Head Hr
+6 Others

Thread Started by #shradha.pandita22@gmail.com

Dear All,
One of our employee comes late on daily basis despite of various verbal and written warnings. On the top of that, he is quite argumentative that makes things a bit more difficult. Being a good sales person, we can't afford to lose him. What can be done in such a case?
To give better understanding of the case, let me give you brief about the policy that we follow i.e We permit 3 Short leaves in a month that means an employee can come late thrice in a month by half an hour but after that every short leave is considered as Half day.
I would appreciate your views to resolve this issue
12th October 2015 From India, Gurgaon
Respected Madam,
Ms. Shradha,
Since you have on several occasions warned him in writing and orally, now is the time to issue him a showcause notice calling upon him why disciplinary action should not be taken against you for your habitual late coming and argumentative.
Based on his reply , you will have initiate enquiry against him.
The above are my view perhaps this will help you.
12th October 2015 From India, Mumbai
Dear Shradha,

I would like to comment on the first paragraph of your post. Reply to the second paragraph is based on Payment of Wages Act. Experts in this field will reply for this paragraph.

You have written that "Being a good sales person, we can't afford to lose him." The catch lies here. He has well understood that because of his salesmanship, organisation cannot afford to lose him. Hence his peremptoriness..

You have two options now. One is to maintain status quo. If you do that you will be pampering indiscipline. It will become difficult for you to take disciplinary action against other delinquent employees. Ignoring his indiscipline would mean long term impact on the organisation's culture as a whole.

The other option is to implement progressive discipline. Do not hesitate to terminate if required. If you do this, you will send signal to one and all that there cannot be trade off between performance of higher order and indiscipline. People may come and go but the discipline in the organisation remains. Discipline is organisational value and it has to be cherished at any cost.

Discuss this this issue with your management. For second option, the logical conclusion is termination of the employee. Make sure that your management does not get cold feet at the last stage.


Dinesh Divekar

12th October 2015 From India, Bangalore
Dear Shradha,
Umesh and Dinesh have given you excellent suggestions. Hence, let me ask you a few questions to clarify the scenario.
How large is your organisation?
How large is the sales force?
Have you implemented the penalty policy and deducted half a day salary/wages, when the sales person has come late?
Have you or his boss discussed why he comes late? Does he stay late also to finish the work?
Have you considered introducing flexi-time working? If not, why not?
I can keep on raising questions, but these will suffice for the time being. These should give you some idea of the extent of detail required to get a precise advice.
12th October 2015 From United Kingdom
Dear Shradha,
Dinesh has given a very good suggestion. At the cost of the discipline in the industry you cannot continue a person even though his performance is excellent. In spite of lot of opportunities given, if there is no improvement, you have to take a final call and take severe disciplinary action by issuing charge sheet/show cause notice and conducting enquiry, which will send clear signal to the other employees.
12th October 2015 From India, Hyderabad
@ Dinesh exactly..i totally agree with him..infact i was about to write the same thing. Once the person is aware that you have already tagged him as a good sales person and he s fully taking undue advantage...its better to give him a written warning 3 times and if if he still continues the same then its better to terminate him.
13th October 2015 From India, Mumbai
Dear Shradha,

Though excellent views have been provided by Mr. Dinesh & Mr. Giri.

I would like to add few more, which will help you to implement the above suggestions on practical and legal ground.

Hope the Leave Policy, as described by you, should be intimated to each & every one in the organisation.

If not done, pls share the same thru mail/Standing Order/company intranet.

Pls calculate the late days from back date, deduct appropriate Half Days (in r/o all employees)

intimate the same in next Pay Slip or send mail to check the updated leave status on co. intranet.

Pls note it should be implemented for all, otherwise the person can go to Labour Office and complaint that the policy is implemented to target him.

This will help you, if you take any strong decision agst such employee/s.

Though I m not in favour of deduction from employees remuneration, but in your case it seems to be necessary.

Being an HR professional, it is your duty to make a balance between employee remuneration and cost, value, ethics and descipline of the organisation.

No player is biggen than the "GAME". Players passes on but the game continues in each stage.

If you don't take any decision this will put negative impression on other "EXCELLENT" employees, and subsequently abolish company culture and values.

Lastly as I suggest in my every post, pls take prior approval of the Management and specially the Marketing dept. HOD.
13th October 2015 From India, Delhi
Dear Shradha,
Mr.Divekar has rightly suggested implementation of progressive discipline, which for any all other department is always the correct way.
However I have a slightly different view on the timing policy for the sales team members or field staff . I feel we should try and give them some flexibility with respect to the in-time.
I am not saying you encourage indiscipline, but many a times we see that sales members have to attend calls at all hours depending on the convenience of the customers or clients. At times they even attend calls on weekends and other holidays if it is suiting the customers.
Have a general discussion with your sales team members and find out about the hours they are normally putting in. After discussion if you feel that they are genuinely attending to business calls in the evenings, holidays , weekends, talk to your management and propose a flexi time for your sales team.
13th October 2015 From India, Mumbai
Talk to ur management for introducing flexi timing .It does not matter as long he is able to achieve targets .many companies have introduced this concept of flexi -timings
13th October 2015 From India, Mumbai
Since, being a good worker you should call him and discuss the issue in detail by explaining him that your this habit gives wrong signals amongst other employees and dismantle the decorum because in every life two factor works i.e. his dedication and behaviour.
Thus to maintain the complete discipline, he should be given little liberty being a good sales but that should not affect the others people. Inspite of this if he is not ready to change his attitude, you may take administrative action as per prevailing norms in your company.
13th October 2015 From India, Lucknow
Dear all,
Thanks for your suggestions.
Termination is not the right solution according to my opinion. Reason being, our sales team is of 15 members and he is one of the performers. Today itself dropped him an email regarding final notice. As well as, gave him the additional responsibility of managing attendance of his team.
Hope this will work.
Would appreciate your suggestion apart from Termination.
13th October 2015 From India, Gurgaon
Hi Shradha,

so far people have given excellent views and i even agree with them. i would like to add on to it.. play the perfect HR role..be diplomatic..give him a show cause notice and ask for explaination and in the background talk to him telling him that his casual attitude is affecting his team as well. his team members keep roaming here and there disrupting the organisational culture and environment. it is only when he is around his team mates start working also tell him that you are also very much upset with this and need his help. tell him if he comes to the office on time his team members will also start working on time. also convenience him not to take anything negative its just we want to set an example for others. tell him we are doing this to make employees aware that even being such a good performer the company does not spare anybody. hope he will understand and might not argue.

being HR our first role is to make employees our partner and then move ahead.

hope this works out for you. all the best.

Warm Regards
13th October 2015 From India, New Delhi
Ms. Shradha,
I would like to differ with all other members. Rigid policies of any organisation always do a negative role and hamper the productivity of not only the employees, but also of the organisation. Flexibility on selective basis is never harmful. My belief is, any employee is not a bad worker, but his boss compels him to be bad. For others, if they try to follow trend of the late coming employee, you may set standards of out turn equivalent to the late comer, if good performer.
So, think about other alternatives also. Ask him about the real cause of his late coming, understand his personal problem like a solution provider guide and counsellor, adjust his duty hours or split up his duty hours or change his area of activies to accommodate time to fulfill his own compelling needs, etc.
So, it is up to you to chose either discipline or performance and produtivity.
13th October 2015 From India, Delhi
I am rather surprised to note that Shradha has not answered questions raised to fully appreciate the scenario. In the absence of such information, the suggestions/comments can only be based on guess work. For example, Abhinav suggests that Shradha tell the concerned sales person that his colleagues keep roaming here and there....? Is there any evidence of that in Shradha's post?
13th October 2015 From United Kingdom
I would like to acknowledge the different insights, they are good ideas. If this employee is into sales I believe as an HR you have to examine your existing company policies. I am working in a manufacturing and retail sales distribution. Implementation of our time in and out differ where certain employees are assigned to. For Sales people we exercise full flexibility of their time because we expect as sales they goes out from the office from time to time and yes would even entertain calls on weekends and non-office hours. We are after of their sales performance. Considering that they belong to the results based employees hence, they are ruled of different work schedules other that the people in the manufacturing and the support group.

How to deal with his attitude?

I been dealing with a lot person reactions when we implement company policies but nevertheless, I had learned the art of dealing proper way of communicating policies. When we reprimand employees on company policy violations as a result they react. I would suggest talk straight to the person, let him understand your policy. Understand his side, if you think you can help in some ways assure him that you will do your best to middle with management. Try to do alternative solutions to this problem like introducing flexi time with the management but warn him if your proposition would not get positive results then, you need to get an agreement with him that he is bound to follow your existing rules.
14th October 2015 From Philippines, Mandaue City
Dear all,
Thanks for your valuable time and suggestions.
As per your guidance, dropped him an email of Last and Final Notice notifying-
a). Deductions as per the company policies.
b) How his unprofessional behaviour is dismantling the decorum and is affecting the morale and performance of the team.
Not only this, had one-on -one discussion regarding the same to decipher the reason for his late coming. Lets hope this works.
14th October 2015 From India, Gurgaon
Dear Shradha,
The other aspect is about your role. If you are maintaining the Discipline & Culture of the Company - then you will be at fault for not performing your responsibility and not any employee. As suggested by others, once the msg goes that no aberrations are tolerated in your Organization, everybody will fall in line. And this is my experience.
- Abdul Quadir Awate
14th October 2015 From India, Pune
Dear Shradha Madam,
All the members are given their valuable suggestions and advises in the thread and more impressive advise of Mr.Dinesh Devikar who has clearly explained the facts. I too fully agree with him. See the door is meant for both entry and exit. Organization should not be depend upon one man and it is wrong interpretation that be cause of his good sales manship you are not willing to lose. No it is wrong. As a HR person should have firm decisions as far as discipline is concerned. No compromise at any cost. Since you have followed the views of the members I further will not confuse you but to be strict in the organization discipline. Whoever violate the discipline, you initiate the disciplinary proceedings without any mercy.
Adoni Suguresh
15th October 2015 From India, Bidar
Dear all,
Addressing everyone point one by one:
1. Termination- We can't terminate him since:
a) Our organization is a small one i.e employee strength is 50
b) We are generating good business because of him
c) Higher management is not willing to lose him
2.Flexible timings- Since we deal in international market so our work hours are quite early i.e 7am to 4pm to be specific. lets say if somebody is coming late by an hour and works till 5 or 5:30 that is completely useless as that person wont be able to catch hold of Marketing Head or the concerned person because according to their time zone, its there knocking off time.(5:30pm in India=7:30 pm in Singapore, Malaysia, etc)
3)To be diplomatic with that person- Tried that even but didn't work.
4)Face to Face Discussion-Did that thrice but he keeps on giving lame excuses for coming late.
After yesterdays email, he came on time today.
Hope now guys got the clear picture!!
Would appreciate your thoughts.
15th October 2015 From India, Gurgaon
Sorry Shradha for asking more questions.
How old is the organisation and how long has the salesperson been with the company?
Has he started coming late of late or has he been doing so from the start?
I am rather surprised to note that if someone works past the finishing time, he can't be more productive. For example, I am sure he can do paper work that he could not do during normal time and he could plan for next day's work. As we are not fully knowledgeable about the nature of his work, we have to base it on assumptions.
My tutor had spelt assume as "ASS U ME", and explained that when our assumptions are wrong we "Make an ASS out of YOU and ME".
15th October 2015 From United Kingdom
I agree with the views of Vineetaj .If you are strict with the reporting time then you should also allow the staff to leave within maximum half n'hour of duty off time.Now a days most organisations make their taff work without any overtime payment for 2-3 hours daily.If it is so then I feel , the management has no moral authority to enforse only 'in' time.
16th October 2015 From India, New Delhi
Mr Nathrao,

I fully agree with you.Population explosion is at the root of most of the problems our country is facing.Sadly, no politician or party has a clear policy about how to defuse this time bomb.The late JRD Tata was very vocal about the need to do something about it.A great visionary that he was he knew that increase in resources can never match the growth of this monster.But our leaders only play politics with census figures.Our PM keeps on harping on "120 crore team India" but it seems he should be reminded that even in games the size of the team is not allowed to grow in limitless manner.Even this 'team India' already appears to have a twelfth member ( 10 crores extra) ! Take his other pet theme viz., Swatch Bharat.Does he realize how much water is needed to keep this HUGE team clean and hygienic ? In Maharashtra because of slight variation in monsoon the reservoirs are half empty and in many town/villages water is supplied once a week.Then how can we have Swachha Bharat ? Even the capital Delhi is reeling under air pollution. Well, examples are plenty but to come back to our discussion I feel whatever is going on is just exploitation of labour which I , being a HR man definitely find unethical.Members might have read that even in the 'free-est of the free ' market that is USA a law was recently passed to ensure that any organisation detaining an employee beyond normal duty time should pay overtime wages to him/her.
17th October 2015 From India, New Delhi
Mr Govind Kumar:I am not advocating a lenient attitude towards late coming.I am only emphasising that we should practice first before we preach.If we make an employee stay 2-3 hrs extra for exigencies of work then we should compensate him by paying overtime wages or suitable time off.

Mr Nathrao:You are absolutely right that 'sugar lobby' in Maharshtra is very strong and controlled by top politicians (one of whom wrecked the national carriers AI and IA through a mindless merger-but that's another story).

However sugar lobby is strong because money flows from sugar production.But sugar is also an essential commodity and if we produce less of it, the prices will shoot up and the common man shall suffer.If you remember, in the days of rationing we had to use jaggery in tea as sugar was not available even in ration shops.This led to black marketing and spurt in prices.A couple of years back there was a shortfall in production by a mere 10%(approx) and the prices in Kolkata shot up by 20%.Surely water is more important than sugar but sugar shortage will affect the entire country whereas water shortage , though hurting more ,will be a localised phenomenon.I think more dams/reservoirs should be built.That strengthens the moot point of our discussion that availability of natural resources is not keeping pace with population explosion.
18th October 2015 From India, New Delhi
Its been only three years that we are into the market and that sales employee joined us a couple of months back;5 to be specific.Since the time he has joined, we are facing this issue. Earlier he use to come late by half an hour but now by an hour or so.
Moreover, about completing their log-in hour by allowing flexible timings doesn't work. I spoke to his reporting manager regarding the nature of the work; there is not much filling work.Considering his profile, he is into Telle-sales so he needs to maintain his leads via a CRM software. Adding on to this, Calling and emailing is required. All these things happen simultaneously.
Just wanted to update- After releasing Warning Letter, he has started coming on time.
19th October 2015 From India, Gurgaon
Dear Shradha,
It is really pleasing to see that you involved in so long discussion. There are many reviews, suggestions and cross questions by experienced fellow members. Even in some cases you had to face criticism.
But you have reponded to each and every querry to the best. Moreover, it seems you have analyzed all the suggestions in your scenerio practically.
It stated your patience and committment to the issue.
The most important and happiest part is that you have reached to a final decision (after comparing and analyzing all suggestions, reviews),
and more important part is that you have shared the outcomes and given valued thanks to fellow members.
Gud luck.........
19th October 2015 From India, Delhi
Dear Shradha,
On 15.05.2015, you wrote several things in his appreciation. If late coming is only a negative feature as compared to several of his positive qualities, your office has to adjust somehow or the other if he renders progressive productivity. When his job is just a telecalling activity there is no harm even if he is allowed to work from home also provided he gives productivity in a progressive manner. But, if you want him conventionally to stick to seat but he fails in maintaining productivity, would your organisation feel pleasure in that. If he slackens his activity during regular office time, would you be able to extract work by force? In fact, his productivity should matter much significant, rather than his attendance timings without ptoductivty.
19th October 2015 From India, Delhi
Dear Friend,
As per your wordings, you have mentioned that you have allow three late in a month...after that it'll be treated as an half day.
I wish to ask two questions here:
a. Did you take written consent on the same?
b. Reporting officer of that sales person did make any complaint about his late coming?
After getting answer of these questions I can give u concrete solution of this issue.

19th October 2015 From India, Mumbai
Dear Shradha, If the employee is a workman as per IDA, you can initiate disciplinary action by issuing a chargesheet and conducting domestic enquiry.
19th October 2015 From India, Pune
Discipline is important for any organization and we are responsible to maintain. HR professional, we have to retain quality staff with us, Also, I read that, you are having a policy of salary deduction, employees who are coming late coming regularly.
I would suggest you to call him in office and ask for a written explanation by giving memo. if you are not satisfied with that, initially, punish him by suspension. Still, he is not ready to correct himself, discuss with the management and have to take a final call.
19th October 2015 From India, Ernakulam
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