Nothing makes me crazier than a corporate culture where it’s socially acceptable to show up to meetings late. When meetings start late, they typically end late, and that means another group of people are left waiting…for conference rooms to become available, for people to show up to their meetings, for interviewers to show up to interview a candidate. It’s such a waste of resources. Cultures of late-ness are just a huge freakin’ peeve of mine.
The other day, I was talking to another consultant about this topic and it turns out some of his clients had the same complaint. His advice was that the person coordinating the meeting should schedule it to start a few minutes before the desired start time so that when late employees showed up it was actually the time the meeting was supposed to start.
What is this, kindergarten?!
If my company hired a consultant to help us become more efficient and he gave me that advice I’d fire him and then I’d demand my money back. And then I’d go Donald Trump on his #$$ and fire him again. Because that is terrible advice.
If you want to make a quick but powerful improvement to your company, start creating a culture where it is NOT acceptable to show up to meetings late. If a meeting is going to start at 8, start it at 8. If people come late, ask them to leave. Better yet, lock the door and don’t let them in. Believe me, people will get the message.
Just like with so many other things, it starts with the people running the meetings. Show up on time, have an agenda, and end the meeting on time. Period. Believe me, productivity will increase, wasted time will decrease, and the need for me to continue ranting about the topic will end.
Marisa is a Culture Coach for small and quickly growing organizations trying to establish the infrastructure required to create a company full of passionate, motivated, and engaged employees. She has held culture and engagement roles for two nationally recognized great places to work, founded the research and networking group Culture Fanatics, and is an industry recognized blogger. She lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband and twin boys and is looking forward to the day she can bike across the country to raise money for MS research. @marisakeegan.