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5 effective methods of struggle against tardiness


I think everyone who at least once been in a hurry to the meeting, breaking the traffic rules and trying to regain the breath before entering into the office, understands what is this article about.

Have you ever ate your breakfast meal in the shower?

If not, so you just never been late for a meeting!

Tardiness is a micro-stress, with which we are often encounter in our lives. This issue becomes especially important, when you appear in the role of the meeting organizer.

At such moments, you’re turning into a responsible person not just for own timely arrival, but also for the fact, that the participants of the meeting should also come on time.

In this article I’ll share with you some simple and effective methods, which help to organize the meetings so, that tardinesses will be extremely rare, or will not happen at all.

First of all, I suggest to determine what exactly is meeting.

We often hear such statements as: «If you don’t want to work, organize a meeting», or «Meetings are all around, when to work?» and so on. Developers don’t like meetings.

The various meetings and arrangements are perceived as compulsory, but the unnecessary action.

However, meetings help to:

  • Reduce the time to solve problems.
  • Deliver information simultaneously to several colleagues.
  • Keep the relevance of the obtained information.
  • To increase the cohesion of the team.
  • Mark the importance of each participant.
  • Provide an opportunity to express ourselves.

And this list can be continued with more and more statements.

The conclusion is that:

Meetings is the useful tool, that is necessary to use correctly.

Now I suggest to deal with the factwhat exactly is a tardiness.

Sometimes it happens, that somebody was delayed, but this person had done everything possible to reduce the time of the tardiness. Sometimes It happens, that the tardy arrival to a meeting is justified and all the responsible persons alerted. Rare cases of delay is quite normal, we are all the same people, not robots, and no one is safe from the force majeure.

But the regular tardiness is already a serious problem..

Constant failure of beginning of the meeting can lead to dysfunctional course of both the meeting and the work of the team at large. Your team can be infected by the banal lack of respect to each other and to the leadership, and they stop to understand the importance of the event. In the atmosphere of regular delays accumulates negativity, that anyway starts to splash out.

Therefore, it can be concluded:

Regular tardiness — it is a symptom, which helps to identify problems in the organization and the team.

As with any disease, it is necessary to timely identify the symptoms and start treatment, as the diseased member of the team will soon begin to infect all colleagues. But it is better to take action before the appearance of symptoms. So to say, to carry out prevention and vaccination..

I think that each of the managers have secrets and the rules, by which they are appointed and hold regular meetings. Below I will introduce you my tricks.

Tip № 1 Assign a convenient time.

Select the most convenient time for all participants. This is the easiest and at the same time important advice.

Always is worth to consider several points:

  • Time zones of participants.
  • Lunch time.
  • Personal plans.
  • Peculiarities of working activity.

Here is a simple example.

Our team includes 10 members, all about the same position in staff and approximately the same scope of work. We have two common meetings a week.

The first at 10.00 a.m. — on Thursday;

The second at 5.30 p.m. — on Tuesday.

At the Thursday meeting no one is missed for six months. But on Tuesday all of them are almost late every other time.

What is the reason?

10:00 a.m. — this is the morning business hours, you had not yet absorbed by the working cycle, and you will easily come to the appointed time of the meeting.

5.30 p.m. — at this time there are many reasons for the delay. And the reasons are justifiable. Someone calls overseas customers, someone is trying to have time to finish the job duties before the end of the day, someone has plans for the evening, and would like to leave the office at 18:00.

Observing such a picture, I concluded:

Correctly chosen time of the meetings is the way to deal with tardiness.

Tip № 2 Punishment is inevitable.

For the committed delay, the participant must suffer the inevitable punishment. Thus it is important to choose the right form of penalty. The form, which will not annoy, and will stimulate the timely arrival at the meeting. This should be something socially useful to the participants, but not very pleasant for the performer.

For example, a latecomer should:

  • Bring a delicious sweets to the tea for the whole team.
  • Write a report on the results of the meeting.
  • Driving up the pedestrian colleagues from work.
  • Come to the next meeting early and prepare the room.

And so on, to which only your imagination is enough.

It should be noted, that only financial penalties do not work at all. Assign a large amount of the penalty does not allow a conscience, and a small amount of money does not motivate.

Tip № 3 Games for adult.

In order to encourage people to be in time for the beginning of the meeting, the beginning should be unusual.

Such a way of dealing with tardiness I discovered recently. At one of the weekly meetings of our team there is a need to write a letter with the results of the meeting. Anyone did not want to do it, because this is an additional work, which takes much time.

You can solve this issue, using these simple methods:

For example, you can choose a permanent responsible stenographer or carry this burden at a time. However, this and that method was unanimously recognized as boring. Therefore, we roll the dice at the beginning of each meeting — the one, who has less than the amount outlines the meeting.

This form of definition of stenographer brings at the beginning of the meeting element of the game, allows you honestly (by fate) appoint an end man and please all the winners. And it’s just the beginning of the meeting, but the participants are already warmed up and smile.

At the same time, if someone is late for a meeting, he automatically becomes a stenographer (here we use the punishment from the Tip № 2). So the waiting of the latecomer gives a cheerful moment of feeling yourself malice to everyone who came in time.

Tip № 4 Start Message.

Yet another way to diversify the beginning of meetings — is the start message. At the beginning of each meeting, you can report some interesting or pleasant to all news. It can be: a review from customer, compliment from the director, the professional holiday of one of the members of the team, birthday greetings, and so on.

I also convinced that people like numbers. So, in a start message you can tell about any interesting and easy metric. For example, today we have 50-th Meeting, or 500-th task has been created, or Ivan works for 300 days. Such figures are easy to calculate, and its’ announce revives the routine of daily meetings.

Tip № 5 Basic rules.

As any working tool requires clear and understandable instruction, so the rules should be indicated for each regular meeting. These are the basic rules for meetings. For example, how long lasts meeting, which targets have participants, what happens for being late, and so on.

Rules should always be fulfilled by all participants, and you as a responsible organizer should monitor its execution.

My advice: try to make clear the rules once and quickly respond to its violation. This will help you both in technique of meetings execution and will support your leader authority.

At the same time don't afraid to change the rules of the game. If any of the solutions are wrong or don’t work, there is always the possibility to make changes. This will once again prove you as a thoughtful and attentive organizer of the meeting.


  • Meetings — is the useful tool.
  • Organization of the meeting — it is not a trivial task.
  • The beginning of the meeting — is an important step.

Motivate people to timely arrival — this is the right way to the successful outcome of the meeting.

Well, here I conclude this article.

I hope the above methods can help you to organize the meeting of a team in the most efficient and productive manner.

If you have your own effective methods of dealing with delays — share them in the comments!