Quarter past nine, I’m late again!

Topic: Compensation, MotivationRewardsStrategic HR
Publication: Research and Practice in Human Resource Management
Article: A Mathematical Model to Monitor Late Arrivals at Work
Author: S.A. Oke, T.M. Ezenachkwu
Featured by: Sarah Bowen

In their recent article, Oke and Ezenachukwu embark on an ambitious journey to prove that timeliness is improved through rewards and recognition in the workplace. The authors conduct their research in a beer and soft drink production company to test their model and assumptions. Educational commitments, monotony of work, and poor welfare provisions were three key reasons workers gave as reasons for their tardiness.

The researchers proposed that work tardiness issues can be resolved through the use of rewards to  employees who arrive early to work. In order to alleviate lateness, the company implemented a computer  system to supervise the arrival and departure times of workers and calculate the additional compensation for arriving early. Adjusting for a variety of commuting differences, the results showed that most workers will arrive early to work when additionally compensated for their timeliness.

Maintaining proper records of employees’ daily arrival and departure times, informing employees about the program’s benefits, and giving feedback to employees and managers contributed to the effectiveness of this approach.

Electronic displays installed as part of this program served as reminders to employees about their responsibilities to the company and aided in motivating workers to achieve a better work culture. In addition to directly affecting the bottom line, on-time arrival impacts the culture of the  organization: when workers arrive on time, a company acquires a more positive image and employees become more confident in management.

Oke, S. A. & Ezenachukwu, T. M. (2007). A Mathematical Model to Monitor Late Arrivals at
Work by Junior Staff, Research and Practice in Human Resource