Expert Marketer Magazine

My employees arrive late for meetings

by Denny LongMarch 2016

It's annoying to see my employees filter into team meetings. Some have good excuses, but some are carrying their Starbucks cup or talking on their cell phones as they arrive.  How can I change the team culture?

Chances are your employees don't believe you when you say they need to be at meetings on time. Maybe this disrespect spills over into performance.

Here are some questions:                    

  • Do you always arrive on time?  Do you make excuses for yourself?  Actions speak loudly.
  • Have you set clear expectations for your team meetings? Sometimes we think we've been clear, then find out we've out with send mitigated words like "Hey gang, try to get here, OK?". 
  • Tell people what you want and then follow up with an email for clarification.
  • Is your team tuning you out?  It might be that you're throwing out directives and never following up on your words. If you tell your team they need to be at meetings on time, then you should follow up and make your point. To do nothing is to show approval.

There is always something you can do to send a message to your team, such as closing the doors when the meeting starts and not allowing late entry.  Or you could charge them $5 (for the group therapy fund) for coming late.  But do this in intentional steps where people have warning--not in some angry, frustrated moment. This is especially appropriate if you've allowed the behavior to go on for some time. 

So back to the question--what should you do when people tune you out?  


Denny lives in Seattle and is the author of the new book "Managing Genius"


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