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Dear Workforce How Can I Get People to Show Up on Time for Meetings

If nothing important’s going on those first few minutes, they won’t show.

September 7, 2011
Q

Dear Workforce:

Do you have any suggestions on incentives for starting meetings on time? Ourcompany has a problem with starting meetings in a timely fashion and it cutsinto work time, besides it just being inconsiderate.

-- Ben Carlson, HR Manager, Irvine, CA

A Dear Ben:

Head on down to the local Krispy Kreme doughnut shop. Get just the rightamount of doughnuts such that if you’re there at a decent time, you’ll getone. If you’re late, the doughnuts will have run out.

During the first ten minutes of each meeting, hold an activity that involveseveryone and would make a chronically late-arriver feel like they have to bethere. One idea is to go around the room and have each person give a one-minutesummary of what they’ve been up to, as it relates to the project at hand.People will feel like they have to show, or the rest of the group can assumethey’ve been up to nothing.

Emphasize the importance of timeliness in job descriptions, performancereviews, and in individual meetings.

Promise attendees that if you start on time, you’ll get outta there ontime. Stick to that promise, even if it means skipping a topic for a later date.

SOURCE: Todd Raphael, Online Editor for Workforce.

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