Why punctuality gains respect in the workplace by Joseph Wardy

In our culture, punctuality is the ability to be late earlier. If you are 15 minutes late and I'm 10 minutes late, then I'm early.

In my career, I worked at five public schools, three major corporations, one college and one consulting firm. Only a handful of meetings started on time.

I'm suggesting that punctuality is a human leadership trait requiring the professional to go against the flow of the crowd. Leadership is frequently the opposite to crowd mentality requiring the 3 C's...courage, commitment and conviction.

This article will be devoted to three reasons employees are not punctual and four ways to improve. The three reasons why people are not punctual are as follows:

1. Lack of respect- During my career, I've never experienced a person call to say he or she would be late. Why not? Fact: Lateness cheats coworkers of their time. Only words and time are irretrievable. In addition, organizations lose millions of dollars due to the dead time of waiting for late arrivals.

2.  Lack of accountability- Managers in charge can take the hit on this one. There is a human tendency for employees to test the waters. If employees are not held accountable, many will take a free lunch. Here are three ways to I've seen managers demand accountability: 1) Managers themselves are on time, practicing "walking the talk" 2) Remove chairs from the room requiring latecomers to stand. If you want a quick meeting, make employees stand 3) Include punctuality as part of meeting deadlines and the annual review by creating a category for professional courtesy

3. Lack of organization- Some employees are not disrespectful when arriving late. These employees have not developed a skillful means to attain punctuality. Their time management skills are underdeveloped and interruptions are handled poorly.

Here are four suggestions to improve your punctuality:

1. Visualize each meeting as a job interview appointment. Although 15 minutes is not required, build in 5 to 10 minutes for emergencies. If the emergency takes longer, call the meeting leader as a courtesy.

2. See yourself as owner and shareholder of the company. Why would you cheat yourself and others of lost productivity?

3. Put yourself in the position of the employees who are on time. How would you feel if your time was cheated?

4. Make a verbal commitment to the meeting leader of your commitment to punctuality.

Finally, I suggest you practice humility. Example: When I was a Training Manager at Panasonic (a Japanese company), I reported to a senior level Japanese executive. In my first meeting with him, he profusely apologized for being late although he experienced a dire emergency.

In my all years working for American organizations, I have never heard an American manager apologize for being late. Thank you, Mr.Asano four lessons in leadership and humility by teaching me that we can be humble without being humiliated.


                                                           Source: http://www.helium.com/

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