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How to Prevent Tardy Home Care Workers

Are your home care workers reporting to work on time, or do you have a serious problem with lateness? Showing up to a shift late can cause a lot of problems for the client and for your reputation. Unfortunately, tardiness can be a common problem home care agency owners face on a daily or weekly basis. 

Here are a few of our expert tips for eliminating the problem.

Re-evaluate Your Clock In Policy

Start by taking out your clock-in policy from your employee handbook and giving it a read through. You may not have updated it in years, and some of it could be outdated or contributing to the problem. For example, perhaps you should consider changing your policy to have home care workers clock in for a shift at least 5 minutes early, but not more than 10 minutes prior to the start of their scheduled shift.

Encouraging a culture of coming to work 5 minutes early starts with the policy manual. Make sure you are reviewing this expectation in orientation sessions as well in regular staff meetings.

Consider an Easier Clock In Method

Do your home care workers need to jump through multiple hoops before they can officially clock in to serve their clients? For example, do they need to come inside the home and then call the office from the landline in order to clock in? This method was once popular but is now quickly becoming antiquated as agency owners discover it is inefficient.

Start the process of reconsidering your current clock in and clock out methods to ensure it isn’t the process that is making the staff members late. If you aren’t sure about the efficiency, start a task force group to talk about it. Include a few caregivers and office staff, both veteran and new, to brainstorm about the process.

Look for Patterns

Nailing down patterns in lateness can help you best address them. For example, is there a certain worker who is always late on Wednesdays? Perhaps they are strapped for time due to a later school start time and are dropping off their child a few minutes later to school before arriving at work. If you talk individually to that worker and discover their constraints on Wednesday, you can work together to brainstorm solutions.

Are you noticing your late-night shift workers are all generally late? Perhaps you can address the issue as a team, giving them incentives for showing up on time like a breakfast celebration. While you shouldn’t have to incentivize expected behavior, this solution can work every once in awhile to get an entire team back on track.

Talk About It

If your entire agency is struggling with timeliness, you need to talk about it…all the time. Repeat your expectations during staff meetings and in notes that go out with paychecks. It can also be helpful if you ask other team members to talk about what happens to them when their relief is late. A bit of peer pressure can go a long way.

Discipline Consistently

Once everyone knows the expectations, it is time to get serious with disciplining poor performance. The key to changing behavior across an organization is to be consistent with discipline. Ensure you and your entire team know the consequences of being late once, twice, and three times.

Then, stick with the discipline plan. This can be tedious at first, especially if you have a serious problem among multiple staff members. However, stick with it to see fast results. If you are having issues finding the time to review timesheets daily, schedule it into your calendar so that you have a reminder to do so.



Hi, my name is Wendell Scott and I help Home Care Agencies who are experiencing high caregiver turnover rates, have trouble coordinating client care and feel frustrated with their team to easily increase efficiency and scale their Home Care business.

I’d like to share with you my Caregiver Recruitment Engine™ framework. In it, are the tools to help you develop a system to easily attract & hire caregivers (aka a repeatable system for recruiting quality staff), so you can organize your process, reliably recruit new caregivers and efficiently scale your home care team.



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