Set standards on time
Mark, general manager for a local mechanical contracting company, told Session 8 of Turbo’s Leadership Development Lab (LDL):
“One of our office staff has been showing up late every day, often by up to 30 minutes. Our business hours are 7:00 to 4:00 to accommodate our field crew’s needs. Our office has a flex time schedule arrangement to allow people a little flexibility in their schedules. What this is supposed to mean is if you come in at 7:15, you work until 4:15. This particular employee was pushing both ends of the schedule, really taking advantage of our flexibility. He was coming in late and then leaving a little before 4:00. He was setting a bad example.
“Initially I approached this issue in our Friday staff meeting by ‘reviewing’ our flex time rules. My hope was that he would get the hint. This did not change the behavior, so the following Thursday I stopped him when he came into the office at about 7:25 and applied Turbo’s DARE+ correction process - first I let him know that I observed him being tardy almost every day and then asked him why – I listened intently as he explained how traffic had been bad and that he was not a morning person. I explained again how flex time works and reminded him that all of us in the office have a responsibility to lead by example. I made it clear that the example he was setting was not a good one. I asked him for his agreement to leave home earlier or do whatever he needed to do to be on time. I said, ‘If you can’t make it on time, stay late, maybe double the amount of time you were late.’ He agreed and vowed to make a wholehearted effort to be on time starting the next day. In closing, I explained that what he does for our company is greatly appreciated and that although he had only been with us for a short time, people already appreciated the job he does and looked to him for support and advice. I let him know that he was a
leader and that others paid attention to his example.
“He left my office recharged, and wasn’t as upset as I thought he may have been. He hasn’t been late since. In addition, I have an employee who is putting more effort into his job. He participates far more in meetings and his contributions are valuable. He seems to have improved in all aspects of his job.
“The lesson I learned from this experience is to keep correction positive and don’t hesitate to make corrections when required (remembering to carefully include every step in the DARE+ process). The action I call you to take is when correcting someone is required, do your best to make it a positive experience. The benefit you will gain is an employee who knows what is expected of them and may feel better about themselves and the job they do. You will create an engaged team that respects you and gets things done.”
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