Step 1: Be on time

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I wrote 12 easy steps to become a great employee. I now want to write in more detail on each of the 12 steps, starting by arriving on time. It should be unnecessary to address this problem, as we are adults that know of the concept “time”. Be on time should also be easy even if you need to travel from A to B, basic math would reveal the travel time giving you enough input to evaluate when to get out of bed. Still a lot of people arrive late, almost like they were born 10 minutes late, and never caught up.

I am an understanding person.
At least I like to pretend to be an understanding person. Ok, you are a B-person. You might have sleeping disorders, or you just do not get to bed early enough? Oh did I forget about traffic jam? I believe I have heard all the explanations there are. Still, there is no traffic jam if you drive early enough.There is always a vacant parking spot if you are the first one to drive into the parking lot. I have had people saying that they only slept for four hours last night, when my kid kept me up all night puking all over the house, cleaning beds, kids, floor and myself, giving me one hour of sleep, still I managed to be there on time. The cellular phone is out of battery, why did you not charge it before you got to bed? You obviously had all night to plug it in. I do accept that people arrive late now and then; I do not understand why it needs to be a pattern.

B-person??
I just attended a Pecha Kucha night. A fascinating energetic Danish lady named Camilla Kring, chairperson of the B-society; had a very interesting presentation about the group of people that are most productive after 10 am. And some of them work at your office. So as a leader you need to pay attention to this natural difference in personality. At my office opening hours are between 8 am and 8 pm. You could work from 12 pm to 8 pm or even 10 am to 6 pm. At my job we have a regular even and fair rotation between the different shifts. But fair can be unfair to the parents that want to work early and those who do not get up in the morning? I switched around with a co-worker a few years ago. He worked from 12 pm to 8 pm every single day; I worked from 8am to 4 pm. Both of us were happy with this arrangement. As a leader you should find ways consider all needs, it might not be easier for you, but it might be easier for your employees. So get down to planning.

Sleeping disorders!
I have a good friend and co-worker with sleeping disorders. For a period of time I allowed him to flex in, he could come and go as he wanted. He was extremely productive in the evenings and useless in the mornings. We talked about diets and I even called him in the mornings to get him out of bed. After a while things calmed down, and he was back to the normal rotation. Sleeping disorders can be a challenge, and if you have a sleeping disorder, talk to your coach or manager about it.

Just plain lazy?
If arriving late at work is a pattern, you are in trouble. If you get a notice about it, find a solution. If your alarm clock runs out of battery, get an electric one, if your house is cut out of the electric supply on a regular basis, by a mechanical one. Order a wakeup call. By a puzzle clock that will scatter pieces all over the room, and to turn it off, you’ll need to find them all and put them back in place. Take the necessary actions to get you to work on time. Losing a job based on this looks bad on a résumé. Always stuck in traffic? Leave the house earlier. As a manager you need to talk to your employee and write down all obstacles that prevent them to arrive ten minutes earlier. Look at each point and write down the solutions. The solution might be a more flexible employer, or clear steps for the employee to follow. If the problem continues, bring out this piece of paper and rediscover them. What is still an obstacle? Why is this problem not solved?

Personal values!
Is punctuality a high value for you? For me I rather take a bus that gets me to job one hour early than one that might get me five minutes late. A lot of people I know rather do that. I get up almost one hour earlier than necessary each day, because I might experience stuff that gets me out of pace. I have a four year old boy that does not want to do a thing in the morning if the mood is right. I have an autistic eleven year boy also that could stare up fuzz. I have a bike with a flat tire now and then, sometimes it rain, sometimes there is a feet of snow. Still I do not arrive late to work unless all these “planets” are aligned causing a circus around me. But still then I will not miss out more than few minutes. Considering what might happen, what can be done and make the change is the first step to arriving on time.

Other resources:
http://www.wikihow.com/Be-Punctual
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEl6kJz1nHk
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sleeping_disorder

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