Once you’ve made a commitment to work, it’s your responsibility to do whatever you can to arrive on time and be ready to work to your assigned shift. But sometimes things come up. It could be a personal, family emergency, or something as simple as ‘I was oversleeping’. Whatever the reason, there may be consequences that you just can’t avoid. Depending on your leadership team and company policy your pay could be deducted for the missed time, or they could choose to implement a performance improvement plan. Here’s what you can do to minimizes those consequences:


Communicate with your supervisors and if needed, communicate with a coworker that’s not scheduled that could help cover your shift or partial shift.

Be Honest

Be honest with your leadership team and peers, if you’re going to be late to work for personal reasons, you’re not obligated to share specifics, but your supervisors will appreciate knowing that you just need some time for your personal needs as soon as possible. If you made a mistake, like overslept or didn’t plan ahead well enough, own up to it, they may be a little frustrated at first, but all in all, they will appreciate and value you more because you were honest with them.

Mean What You Say

Mean what you say when asking for grace. If you make a mistake, learn from it. Apologizing for the same thing over again and over again without ever making an effort to stop it from happening will affect your credibility with your employer, and they may not be willing to adapt. Sometimes consequences are unavoidable but being a reliable employee means owning up to your mistakes and doing what you can lessen the burden on your team.

Still remember, it’s never okay to be late, do what you can to plan ahead, if you have an appointment, or conflict with your regular shift that can’t be avoided let your supervisor know with as much notice as possible so that they can plan ahead for their scheduling and manpower needs. Things happen, but when avoidable don’t make your misstep in planning someone else’s emergency.

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