Treating chronic lateness
How do you get a colleague or subordinate who's always late to show up on time? It isn't easy, but there are ways, if you make it clear that actions have consequences.Updated: Feb 10, 2006 13:44 IST
How do you get a colleague or subordinate who's always late to show up on time? It isn't easy, but there are ways, if you make it clear that actions have consequences.
"I had one employee -- call him Akash -- who came to work 20 minutes late every single day," writes one HR Head of an MNC. "Each time, he came rushing into my office saying, 'I'm sorry I'm late, but...' Fill in any dumb excuse you like, he tried them all. Finally one day, when he showed up at 9:15, I said to him, “Akash, you aren't late. This is the time you plan to arrive.
If you were "late," then some days you'd be here exactly at 9, other days a little early, and sometimes at 9:05. But you get here between 9:15 and 9:20 every day. You must plan it that way. So you aren't late." He thought about it, said nothing, and started arriving at 9 almost every day." The reason: "He realised that he was due for an evaluation soon, and the poor planning that led to his daily lateness was going to get him into trouble."
Or how's this for making people think twice about tardiness? "Here's a trick I learned while majoring in theatre at Pune," writes Arvind Gopal, a senior VP at a foreign bank. (It could also work for people leading teams). "Take the number of people in the 'cast' or team, and multiply it by the number of minutes that someone is late and is holding up the whole team," he says.
"The result is the total number of minutes that's been wasted. Charge the person Rs. 25 for each minute. No excuses! Save the money you have collected for a month, and use it to take the people who were never late to a place of your choosing -- a show, a nice dinner, discotheque etc." Of course, chances are that this will inspire everyone to be on time, every time, and that will be the end of those lovely outings.
The most extreme proposal for solving the problem however comes from the 'no-nonsense' type: "Try this on for size! Three strikes and you're out!" Phew. A bit harsh, but if all else fails...
First Published: Feb 10, 2006 13:39 IST