I manage a software team and have normal, reasonable expectations. Recently I've been having a problem with the younger new hires. I require everyone to be in by 9am, and whenever I ask one of them why they got here at 9:10, they'll say something like: "This is at-will employment. Let me know if I'm fired".

I get the same kind of answer if they take over 30 minutes for lunch, something like "Are you going to fire me for this?"

They do fine work, but they don't respect my authority. Does anyone have any tips for how to handle younger employees with attitude, without necessarily firing them?

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    What are your reasons for the strict time limitations? Are they aware of them? Are you paying them salaried or hourly? Commented Jan 13, 2020 at 17:28
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    Are hours really strict in your company? Or is it understandable a, say, 10-15 min delay in the shift start?
    – DarkCygnus
    Commented Jan 13, 2020 at 17:28
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    Also, what have you tried so far to make them aware of their rude behavior?
    – DarkCygnus
    Commented Jan 13, 2020 at 17:29
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    Why do you consider those expectations to be normal and reasonable? My experience as a software engineer is that, in that particular profession, they are very much abnormal and generally considered unreasonable, largely because they are irrelevant to producing a SE's work output.
    – Douglas
    Commented Jan 14, 2020 at 8:56
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    What country are you in? This is important. Different countries have different expectations of timekeeping and deference to authority. Commented Jan 14, 2020 at 14:39

12 Answers 12


You asked,

how can I deal with millennial employees challenging me?

I think the answer really is, deal with them the same way you deal with other employees.

At it's best, employment is mutually beneficial - the employer and the employee both receive something positive. At the root, both parties are motivated by what they get in that exchange. Intangible things like "respect" are easiest to get when you understand that.

As a practical example, many employees consider fixed working hours to not be directly related to their productivity. To put it another way, they don't believe that fixed hours produce a better result for either party (i.e. they think they can get their jobs done without strict business hours dictating when they do it). If you believe you have a clear reason for requiring employees to be in the office at a specific time (for instance, they need to be available for client support, or a specific meeting) then, instead of saying

you have to be here at 9 because I'm in charge and you have to respect my authority!

you can say,

being here at 9 is important because there is an expectation among clients that they can reach us at 9.

And - as an obvious follow up, if you can't come up with a good reason for enforcing a policy, consider changing the policy. Although it makes sense to have strict rules in a lot of cases, enforcing a policy just to enforce a policy is a great way to completely ruin anyone's respect.

If you do feel that you have a strong case for certain rules, and your employees are in broad disagreement, consider refining your hiring process. Some employees will happily describe the "culture" they want to work in during an interview. Others might not explicitly mention culture, but they may talk about it if you ask neutral, leading questions. Ultimately, some people won't want to be in the office at the same time every day, even if there's a good reason they should be. Those people may not be a good fit for your team, and it's better to rule them out during selection versus hiring them and then getting upset that they don't respect you.


  • Rather than trying to enforce policy, and then getting upset when people don't respect you, consider doing some reflection first to determine the reasons behind your policies
  • Once you know the reasons, link them to something that motivates your employees. Be ready to explain that link. Doing so will help people have confidence in you as a leader, which will lead to respect. Or it'll help them decide to go work somewhere else, legitimately, because your firm isn't a good fit for them.
  • Reflect on your hiring practices, and make sure you're giving employees enough information about your team and the guidelines you have for your staff, so they can evaluate if you will be a good fit for them. Hiring employees who will be happy working for you is better than hiring randomly and then trying to conform people to your style.
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    This is the best answer. If the policy doesn't relflect the reality of doing work, then it's a worthless policy at best, and at worst, a unreasonable burden on otherwise hardworking employees.
    – Rich
    Commented Jan 14, 2020 at 1:38
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    The hiring process point is important. If you tell candidates during the hiring process they have to be at their desk at 9 (and not 9:10) and lunch may not exceed 30 minutes, then everyone can consider that when deciding whether those are policies they want to sign up for and nobody will be surprised by them. And if that information makes it more difficult to hire good candidates, well then that's information you can factor into your decisions about the benefits and costs of these policies. Commented Jan 14, 2020 at 2:02
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    This is exactly correct. Rules aren't the important part, understanding and communicating the reason behind the rule is. The younger generation seems to be less willing to blindly follow a rule without understanding why, but older employees benefit from understanding this as well. Helping to identify meaningless policies is a handy side-effect.
    – bta
    Commented Jan 14, 2020 at 2:26
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    I disagree with this answer in this case. This is a very good answer if employees ask "why must I be here at 9am?", but IMO not for those who keep throwing the "Or what, you'll fire me?". The demands/indifference will only shift OP puts his foot down.
    – Martijn
    Commented Jan 14, 2020 at 8:33
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    @Martijn As a software developer, I would not answer in such a way to my manager unless I feel like I would benefit from being fired. We know he received such answer, but do we know how many times he got asked "why must I be here at 9am?" ? Because I would never use the second response unless I tried with the first several times with no reasonable reason.
    – bracco23
    Commented Jan 14, 2020 at 8:43

You are in a very difficult spot, one entirely of your own making, for which the blame falls squarely on your shoulders. Once an employee has become so disgruntled that they are asking their manager to be fired, and doing so publicly, the manager is left with no choice but to fire that employee. If you don't fire this person, you are essentially letting the rest of the team know that (a) your requirements do not need to be followed, (b) you lack any backbone to stand up to an employee. This will quickly lead to you losing all authority over your team.

Unfortunately, after you fire this person, not only will you lose someone who does "fine work", everyone else on the team who disagrees with your "reasonable expectations" will start looking for a new job, as you've now proved yourself as someone who will fire over what they likely think are trivial violations of unreasonable expectations.

Being a successful manager (at least of knowledge workers) isn't like commanding troops in the army, or some movie caricature of a boss: you do not give orders and require 100% obedience.

Instead, think about it this way. Your boss has given you a set of tasks that you need to accomplish, but where you need other peoples' efforts to achieve. As you cannot possibly be successful unless you have a good, strong, team helping you, you will need to figure out how to hire, motivate, and retain quality people, and how to organize them so that they are productive and all pulling in the same direction.

Making arbitrary rules which do nothing to improve output is a bad way to motivate and retain quality employees, and make it ever-so-harder for you to be successful at your tasks. Imagine explaining to your manager that the reason a project is way behind schedule is that you fired a guy because he showed up 15 minutes late.

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    I agree with this answer and think it should be the top answer. At this point your employee is calling your bluff, and your only choices are to back down or follow through.
    – Dan
    Commented Jan 13, 2020 at 20:40
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    This answer starts out wrong. You can back down on one requirement, without losing authority. That means you do have a choice. What you can't do is keep the 9:00 requirement as well as keep the employee. Others may then challenge other requirements, that is a risk. You need to deal with that on a case by case basis. But typically you won't get challenges to business-critical requirements, only to similar arbitrary requirements. And you may be able to deflect them by discussing them with your team; a decision made by the team is harder to challenge.
    – MSalters
    Commented Jan 14, 2020 at 7:57
  • They are not asking to be fired. They tell the manager that the only way to enforce 9am is to fire them and count on themselves being valuable enough not to be fired over this (most likely backed by the confidence to find another job).
    – gnasher729
    Commented Jan 14, 2020 at 9:59
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    you will need to figure out how to hire, motivate, and retain quality people, and how to organize them so that they are productive and all pulling in the same direction I think the OP is asking for answers to that question. I don't inherently disagree with what you've said here, but I don't think it literally answers the question, it just sort of re-states the problem. Do you have any suggestions for how the OP can do what you're saying he needs to do?
    – dwizum
    Commented Jan 14, 2020 at 14:09
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    People keep acting like expecting your employees to be present during core hours is some kind of ridiculous request. It isn't. Fire these clowns and hire someone with some professionalism.
    – Josh
    Commented Jan 14, 2020 at 14:49

Times and views about work are changing. If you don't change with it, then you are going to have these problems.

Honestly for the sake of 10 minutes, let them have it. Actually, increase their lunch break to 1 hour and let them come in between 8 and 10, and leave between 4 and 6, so long as they cover their hours.

It should be about productivity. Work isn't a prison or school, and you don't own them. Let them work how they want, and you will get better results because they are happier and as a result will have more respect for you because you understand their needs.

Edit: I worked a job for 10 years with strict hours. Recently I started a new job without any set hours. It's entirely performance based, and have to say I have never seen people work so hard. Everyone loves the flexibility so much they are afraid of loosing the job so they all work way more than if it was fixed hours.

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    I agree with that exact timing isn't very important and I dont think that is the issue here. The issue is the complete lack of respect, which isnt addressed in your answer :) They might be right about the times, but they're not right being dicks about it.
    – Martijn
    Commented Jan 14, 2020 at 8:34
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    Some millennials are nearly 40. The term is nearly meaningless and isn't helpful here.
    – user111472
    Commented Jan 14, 2020 at 10:26
  • Downvoted for 'millennials'. Can we stop perpetuating stereotypes?
    – jcm
    Commented Jan 14, 2020 at 12:33
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    @jcm The OP edited their post. Originally he blamed "millennials", I was just pointing out that he was referring to the wrong generation. I was disagreeing with his use of the stereotype.
    – flexi
    Commented Jan 14, 2020 at 13:35
  • @Martijn I thought I covered it by saying if the OP shows an understanding of their needs, they will have more respect in return.
    – flexi
    Commented Jan 14, 2020 at 13:42

The clash over working hours between controlling managers and younger programmers is far from new. I'm a baby boomer, not a millennial. Around 1974, I was a bright young programmer working on an urgent problem.

Back then, computers were big, lived in special rooms, and were scheduled hour-by-hour. I rarely had more than an hour a day of computer time. I had managed to get hold of one for a whole evening, so I worked late, and planned to do the same the next day. My manager saw me arriving about half an hour after my starting time. I explained the situation, but he still insisted I had to arrive on time every day, regardless of how late I was working.

I did not tell him what I thought the way a bright young programmer might now. Instead, I took two actions. One was to start making arrangements to transfer to a group with flexible working hours. I never again had a manager who cared what time I arrived unless there was a good reason, such as a meeting.

The other was a work to rule until the transfer took effect. I would arrive, as I usually did, before my starting time, but instead of starting work when I got there I read a newspaper until it was exactly 9 a.m.. I would use my entire lunch break, to the minute. I no longer accepted the last machine time slot in the afternoon because it extended 15 minutes past my leaving time. The work to rule was a bit immature, but I was in my early 20's.

A very little bit of management flexibility would have kept me in that group, and enthusiastically working a lot longer each week than my nominal hours.

Is it really so very important to have everyone there at 9 a.m.?


The answers above are dealing with start/end time policy. I believe the issue is how to teach subordinates how to respectfully "manage up". There is disagreeing with a policy, and presenting this disagreement in a respectful manner. Hopefully, you have brought to their attention their start/end time policy faux pas in private, and this conflict was not broadcasted.

My response would be along the lines "Firing for a first offense, no, though it will reflect poorly in evaluations if this behavior continues. What do you disagree with fixed hours? or How do you believe this affects our team/client organization with employees not being available at expected times? "

This first part is establishing authority. The second part is being sympathetic and learning as well as teaching as they may not have thought through themselves why fixed hours irritate them so much and how their behavior can affect others.

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    I don't think that changing the way you confront them about the times is a good way forward. Whatever is the cause for current relations between OP and the employees, now is the time to de-escalate, not simply change the level from "not fired" to threatening future raise. It's still a threat and will drive those, as per op words, fair employees, towards finding another job.
    – Aida Paul
    Commented Jan 13, 2020 at 17:56
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    @TymoteuszPaul Yes, actions have consequences. And if you present yourself in a bad manner, that too will have consequences. And no, I doubt it will drive others to find another job as long as questions are asked following.
    – paulj
    Commented Jan 13, 2020 at 18:30
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    If I find I have to "manage up", my first management action is to fire the incompetent fool that call themselves a manager but needs to be managed.
    – nvoigt
    Commented Jan 13, 2020 at 19:17
  • @paulj this is a salaried job you know that right ? Commented Jan 14, 2020 at 0:58
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    @Neuromancer I appreciate that, but how does that relate to paulj's answer? Based on your previous comment on the question itself, it seems that you equate "salaried" with "make your own hours". Commented Jan 15, 2020 at 5:13

Take a deep breath and ask yourself two questions:

  1. What brought you to the current situation?

I cannot tell from your question whether it is a single odd person or multiple of them having the same attitude, but generally speaking, such a "fire me please" attitude don't come from nowhere. Maybe the mentioned employee(s) has expressed their thought in an improper way, but that doesn't mean other mature employees won't have same complaint without expressing them.

Were you overly micromanaging too much? Were you trying to push too much on certain details without proper (or properly explained) reason? Remember the golden rule of management: the more requests/rules your make, the less powerful all of your requests/rules are.

And that lead us to the second question:

  1. What is leading you to make your managing requests/rules?

Are you making certain requests/rules to your team just because your wanted to show them your authority? Or is there a certain reason? If there's a reason is it explainable to your team (generally speaking, 99% of rules you can't explain to whoever have to follow them are bad rules)? If it's explainable have you explained it properly?

The other golden rule of managing: the more your want show your authority, the less (real) authority you will gain. The best way (IMO) to lead is always be transparent and share what you were thinking about every decision you made about the team.

And after answering honestly to yourself the two questions above, if you still believe you are doing everything right about your rules/requests, it's about time to deal with the attitude of the employees.

My favorite lines that I practically used to the "fire me" employees are:

No, but I have to leave a few lines into your next performance review, please note that doing [Rules] is important because [Reasons].

Or, if you believe it's necessary:

Yes, you can hand in your letter by tomorrow, or I can ask HR to handle it.

Yes, I mean it! Despite what you did, staying quiet about such "fire me" attitude is a usual prologue of certain employee(s) holding company in hostage, and if I cannot fix the attitude, I'd rather clear the tumor earlier than later.


Corporate Culture

While you have framed this as your employees challenging you, I would suggest you view it as a scenario where you have challenged your employees, and the result is not looking good for you. I'm not sure if you have noticed, but software engineering has some of the highest worker demand of any field. It also has very short tenures, for the simple reason that it is easy for workers to move up (or even just sideways, to gain more experience in a different area). What that means is that engineers generally have more leverage than employers (and why so many employers are willing to engage in illegal non-compete agreements). If your company were holding its SDEs in "golden handcuffs" (total compensation so high, they could not reasonably find it at another company), then I would expect near-total compliance. Open defiance like you describe may be seen as unprofessional, but it's also an indication that you have not accurately weighed the marketplace and the market value of their skills vs. their comp. If their comp is below market, then I would expect them to be especially contemptuous of petty demands.

The idea that corporations are strictly hierarchical organizations with directives that always flow downwards smacks very much of "central planning," which I hope we agree is a failed paradigm that should have died out in 50's and 60's. It's the idea that the CEO and the rest of the C-suite are the smartest people in the company, and everyone else is rank-ordered in intelligence and decision-making capability by their level. That kind of thinking might have been in vogue 50 years ago, but it simply isn't going to get you very far in a modern corporation with software engineers, let alone a tech company (you didn't say what kind yours is).


If your engineers were building widgets in a factory, then showing up on time so the assembly line can start and operate at capacity would be a justifiable organizational demand. However, knowledge work has no strict assembly line which dictates working hours, and the mental intensity of software engineering will especially reward a certain amount of managerial flexibility in scheduling.

Many engineers prefer to arrive really early or work really late so that they can enjoy a mostly-empty office, which improves their productivity. Requiring that everyone arrive at the same time is the same as demanding that everyone expose themselves to a constant barrage of emails, meeting requests, and impromptu desk interruptions. That isn't good management. That's a power trip.

Team Meetings

The only time you can really expect engineers to show up on time is for team meetings (like a daily standup, for instance). That in itself is the justification for a time expectation. On the other hand, if the team thinks you are setting a meeting time for your own convenience, and at the expense of their priorities, then you will win their hard-earned resentment, rather than respect. It would be best to set such meeting times in collaboration with the team, rather than dictating a time. Obviously, if your engineers need to interface with folks from other teams or clients at a particular time, then there should be no dispute on the importance of being present. You didn't mention any such requirements, so I am assuming they don't exist.

Management Expectations

My last employer went through many iterations of the org chart, constantly changing the scope and expectations of the management org. I would say if there is any general trend in tech management, it would be a steady erosion of responsibility. While managers in most other fields are expected to provide work assignments and priorities, interface with other teams, perform HR duties and recruiting, I would say that in tech, the focus is moving away from the front of the list and towards the back. If this trend has not reached your company yet, perhaps you are fortunate. It doesn't mean that your workers are in sync with you, as you have noted. Quite often, a conversation will include: "Well, at Facebook, they do X" or "At Google they do Y" or "Amazon doesn't do Z, why do we?" Know that your engineers almost certainly have friends and ex-coworkers at other companies, telling them what corporate culture is like where the grass is greener. If you insist on making the grass brown for your team, then you'll find a lot more of your time spent on recruiting. Time to decide what is most important to you.

Going Forward

My first piece of advice is to think very hard about why you expect your software engineers to do something that almost no other competitive employer will demand. Is there an actual business need driving this requirement? If so, then share it with the team and start a discussion; but be willing to listen and to compromise. If the only reason is your personal sense of discipline and corporate decorum, then I must respectfully submit that your values are out of sync with the rest of the industry, and you will need to work extra hard to build a team that aligns with you on this while also providing sufficient value on your deliverables.

Second, I would suggest you ask yourself what value you deliver to the team. How would the team fare if you simply didn't show up to work tomorrow? Would everything fall apart? Would they just goof off? Or would things continue to run smoothly until they needed to make an important decision that requires your input? If you are personally holding the team together by the sheer force of your will, then I'd say you have an unhealthy, dysfunctional team. If the team could do just fine without you for a week, then they certainly don't need you to man the door with a stopwatch, counting down the seconds until they arrive in order to deliver the value that your team provides.

Hopefully, the value which you bring to the team is strategic, not trivial. Ideally, your team looks to you to make difficult judgment calls, help them weigh risks, provide insight from higher levels of management and connections you have across the company. If so, you're doing well. But that also means you should measure the things that are important, and leave alone the things that aren't. Are the right projects getting delivered? Are you holding the quality bar? How is your team's morale? Are you championing the good work of your employees to other folks? This is what I hope for in a good manager, not whether I punched the right time card slot on my TPS report.

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    Now I can't get the image out of my head: A widget-factory full of coding Oompa Loompas spread on an assembly-line each coding one line at a time.. ;)
    – iLuvLogix
    Commented Jan 14, 2020 at 10:35

As you say, despite all the long lunches, being late, they are doing fine work. So the best way for them to respect your authority is to just leave them alone and let them keep working as they are. There is very little to gain for punishing a good employee over an arbitrary rule, like being somewhere at 9 am sharp when being 15 minutes late doesn't cause any harm. In short, learn to pick your battles, ease the reins, things will be fine.

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    @SteveSh additionally when employees feel like it's alright to throw "am I fired" around, it's time to deescalate. Other steps can wait for when things substantially calm down.
    – Aida Paul
    Commented Jan 13, 2020 at 18:00
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    @Josh You are punishing employees, and good ones, for very likely failures of management. Boy, you must be a fun boss.
    – Aida Paul
    Commented Jan 14, 2020 at 15:01
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    @TymoteuszPaul they aren't good employees. They are bad employees that do good work. Good employees aren't disrespectful to their bosses. Good employees don't just show up whenever the hell they feel like it. When management says "I need you here at this time" and you say "what are you gonna do about it?" you aren't a good employee. You are disrespectful, unprofessional, and rude and I wouldn't want to representing my organization in any capacity. If you can't act like an adult then you aren't ready to work for me.
    – Josh
    Commented Jan 14, 2020 at 15:04
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    @TymoteuszPaul I don't need to know how it got to that point. Employees don't get to decide what rules are arbitrary or pointless. They are more than welcome to leave if that is how they feel. Employees aren't good just because they do good work. If they do good work but are rude, unprofessional, and flagrantly ignore their supervisor then they aren't good employees. There is more to what makes an employee than their work output. Its not whipping people to expect them to be at work during work hours. Its not whipping people to expect them to respect leadership. You are being ridiculous.
    – Josh
    Commented Jan 14, 2020 at 15:10
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    @TymoteuszPaul I think you're confusing employment with adult day care services. Try joining the real world sometime. The military is much more strict than this, at least effective militaries anyway. Its much more lax in countries where the military is as much a meaningless prop as the queen, I would imagine. If employees aren't willing to follow the rules given to them they should be fired. This isn't a radical idea, its common sense
    – Josh
    Commented Jan 14, 2020 at 15:39

I'm taking the opposite tack from my usual, which is normally to side with the employee (unless they're obviously and grieveously in the wrong).

My opinion is that this isn't about bean counting or clock watching. It's not about whether or not the company policies are draconian (having and enforcing a start time isn't draconian). It's about understanding your place as an employee, it's about being professional, it's about understanding that you're accountable to someone else and answering to that accountability.

At first blush, my inclination would be to fire one of them. None of us is so valuable that we can smirk in the face of accountability as if it applies to everyone but us, that we can shirk our professional expectations and requirements as if we're above them.

As harsh as it may sound, firing one of them may give the rest of them the understanding that they're not above the policies that everyone else adheres to.

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    The last paragraph is exactly why this is a bad answer. The other employees may indeed gain the understanding that the policies are arbitrary and inflexible. You can't expect your employees to behave professional when you yourself don't.
    – MSalters
    Commented Jan 14, 2020 at 8:04
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    I agree that this isn't about bean-counting or clock watching. The employees obviously talk amongst themselves (giving similar "fire me" answers) and they obviously have a deeper reason for preferring being fired rather than keep enduring whatever is bothering them. Hence, firing one of them will only cause more problems and will be devastating. It is not about "understanding your place as an employee". It is about understanding how you demolished your authority as a manager.
    – havakok
    Commented Jan 14, 2020 at 8:35
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    This just may trigger everyone else to start looking for jobs. That'll show 'em! I agree that the employees are being rude and unprofessional but I don't think making an example of one is the way to go, especially since I suspect the attitude is a reaction to OPs management style.
    – jcm
    Commented Jan 14, 2020 at 12:29
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    Nonsense. At some point someone has to exercise authority over insubordinate employees, which these employees clearly are. Devastating? It's doubtful the company would be devastated if one, or a few, or all of these developers left the company. Arbitrary? A policy dictating start times is hardly arbitrary. Unprofessional? How is the holding people accountable unprofessional? These comments make me think that you all are of the opinion that there should be no rules, or that we should all have the liberty of picking and choosing the rules we abide by.
    – joeqwerty
    Commented Jan 14, 2020 at 13:28
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    Well done - by firing one employee you've just demonstrated to all of the others that being at their desks by 9:00am is more important than the good work they are doing. Good luck recruiting a new team in the immediate future !
    – Matt
    Commented Jan 14, 2020 at 23:41

As a manager you should lead by example and transparency would be one aspect of leading by example. Dictating without providing the reasoning of why the request was made would be perceived as arbitrary, especially by knowledge / IT based employees (if these are).

They do fine work, but they don't respect my authority.

I suspect most likely your employees perceive your demand to arrive at precisely 9:00 to be unreasonable / arbitrary. While the reaction of your team members is not entirely professional either, it is understandable.

I work in cybersecurity, one of the most dynamic segments of the IT workspace. If these employees are knowledge workers and their skills are as good as you say they are, then the demand for their labor in the market should be decent, giving them many options as to who they work for. In addition, it is my experience that many knowledge / IT workers know the value of their work. The financial cost of hiring an experienced employee is not cheap , and the opportunity cost, large. As Dwizum pointed outed in his answer, if they feel they are not being heard and the culture is not good (not open, constraining to their creativity etc.) then they will most likely leave.

So my suggestion is to be absolutely sure you know why you are asking what your asking of your employees. Respect that while they report to you, they are also professionals with a certain degree of control in how they do their work


Your programmers may be right but I think this behaviour is not acceptable. As a manager you must be willing to hear what your employees say and change your policies to make them feel better when at work (if and when possible, of course) but mutual respect is the basis of any kind of relationship. What would happen if today you change the deadline of a project from the 20th of March to the 20th of January and if your programmer complains you just reply "what are you going to do, quit?"? IMHO, you should put a "suggestion box" (or a dedicated email address, it is the same) where everybody could ask for changes; maybe you will find out that it is easy to have all the hours covered with just minor changes and have everybody happy. In the meantime, I can tell you what would happen in my country (Italy): the manager would add half an hour of holiday every time they are late as a compensation, and once a worker has no more holidays the manager starts witholding the equivalent of half an hour from the paycheck. Being constantly late is a legitimate reason for firing an employee. I am NOT telling you "Fire them!", let it be clear, in the end you know the situation better than anybody else and you must decide. Anyway, I suggest you to decide quickly because nothing good will come out of waiting

  • 2
    There's a non-zero chance your manager would get in a lot of trouble for deducting holiday hours or pay if someone comes in late, though. Especially if they don't tell the employee this is a rule the company has.
    – Erik
    Commented Jan 14, 2020 at 10:09
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    Hello @Erik, this is what happens in Italy, especially in bigger firms (provided the company has an offical timekeeper). In my past experience when you start working among the document you have to sign there is one with the working hours, so you cannot say "I didn't know" and I assumed something similar happened here. If that is the case, (as I said, based in my experience), holiday hours or pay are deducted automatically and you just receive a note in your timesheet (something like "30min holiday added to compensate late arrival").
    – SCdev
    Commented Jan 14, 2020 at 10:58

I would carry on insisting that they are at work at 9:00am on the dot. And them watch them be out of the door at 5:00pm on the dot, even on the days when you have an emergency where you would really want them to be there a bit later. A bit of give and take goes a long way.

  • 1
    Was this answer meant to be sarcastic? Would you consider rephrasing?
    – Anthony
    Commented Jan 15, 2020 at 4:37

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