MODULE Self Improvement LESSON The First Stage of Success is Just Showing Up! Proper Workplace Attendance Resources Pre-Quiz Sample Worksheet Marvin Role-play Nate Role-play Self-assessment Situational Judgment Questions Video Link RPC Think and Discuss Why is proper workplace attendance an important habit to cultivate? Why is it important to have a reputation as a punctual person? Lesson Rationale: Proper workplace attendance is a basic starting point for workplace success. It is simply expected of each and every employee. An employee who is late to work regularly, or even occasionally, is not meeting the expectations of the organization. Chances are, this employee will not be able to do as well on his or her assigned work tasks. Beyond that, the employee will develop a reputation of being unreliable, disinterested, and uncommitted. This behavior could lead to reprimands from the boss, and ultimately dismissal. An employee who is late to meetings or workplace events is also hurting him or herself. He or she is likely to miss out on important information, and be less able to perform successfully. This behavior will also give rise to irritation in others in the workplace, who are unable to count on the employee to be present at the expected time. This lesson displays the importance of proper workplace attendance and the consequences of tardiness or absence, beginning with a quote, anecdote, and video vignette. In an activity, you identify reasons why people are late or miss work as well as strategies that can be used to improve attendance. Three role-play exercises allow you to act out and discuss different workplace scenarios in which negative consequences result from attendance problems. A self-assessment is also provided for you to get a feel for how you are doing personally in the area of punctuality. Punctuality is not a guarantee of success in the workplace, but lack of attendance does guarantee failure. By taking care of getting to work and work events on time, you will be putting in a crucial part of the foundation needed to achieve the kind of career to which you aspire. Key Words • Punctuality • Attendance • Cogs • Concessions • Strategic Proper Workplace Attendance Pre-Quiz 1. When arriving to a work meeting, which scenario is best? a. Arrive 5 minutes late because people are still getting situated anyway b. Arrive 15 minutes late because the real discussions don’t start until then c. Arrive 30 minutes late so everyone thinks you are very busy at work d. None of the above e. All of the above 2. Being punctual means more than being on time – it means being early. True False 3. Being late means: a. Showing up as little as 30 seconds after the scheduled time. b. Not calling to say you are delayed c. Arriving 5 minutes or more after the scheduled time, less is OK. d. Arriving 10 minutes or more after the scheduled time, less than that is OK if you are busy. e. None of the above 4. Being punctual means: a. Arriving on time b. Arriving 10 minutes early c. Arriving when you feel like it d. Arriving fashionably late e. All of the above 5. If you are going to be more than 5 minutes late to a meeting, you should ALWAYS: a. Give up and go back home b. Call ahead and tell the others you will be a little late c. Rush as fast as you can and hope you can make it d. Try to reschedule the meeting e. All of the above 6. If you are consistently late to work and to meetings, what type of image do you project? a. Uncaring b. Unreliable c. A busy employee d. Only A and B e. All of the above Quote “Punctuality is the soul of business.” - Thomas Chandler Haliburton Quote – Think About It 1. Why is punctuality so important that Mr. Haliburton refers to it as “the soul of business?” 2. What would you expect that Mr. Haliburton might say about an organization in which the employees are not punctual? What will happen to that organization? Anecdote One of the golden rules of the workforce is punctuality. It’s not enough to be on time; you have to do everything you can to be at work or in the meeting early. Those who arrive early and stay late are those who never miss information or contacts with important people. The general idea with being punctual means arriving between ten and fifteen minutes early for every engagement. If it means meeting your co-workers for a lunch meeting, arrive 15 minutes early. How about punching the clock for work? You guessed it! Ten minutes early! If you can’t punch in early, you should still arrive early and punch in when it is appropriate. Why is it so important to show up early as opposed to being right on time? You develop a reputation as an industrious person. In addition, information that may appear insignificant before you actually start work or start meetings typically surfaces before the designated time. Remember people count on you to be at work and to be punctual. You are a cog in an organization’s wheel. A cog is a sprocket or small round part that makes a machine run well. If the cog is missing, the machine does not run. We are all small and large cogs at work. If one of us misses too much work or shows up late, the machine (our organization) will not run well. If you are an employer with a bad cog, what would you do to fix the cog? You got it! You replace it. Do not have a reputation as a bad cog. People count on you in your organization. - A corporate manager Anecdote – Think About It 1. Think of a time in which you benefited from arriving early to an event. What happened? What would have happened if you had been late? 2. What would a person need to do in order to arrive ten to fifteen minutes early for every engagement? Video Link RPC – Think About It 1. Were you surprised that no one was taking care of Charlie’s work during his absence or trying to help him? Why do you think that they acted this way? 2. How will Charlie get the information that was discussed in the staff meeting? Employers have very little patience with poor attendance or punctuality because everyone else has the same issues as the truant person, yet everyone else manages to deal with their problems and issues without creating conflict at work. Sample Factors and Solutions to Poor Workplace Attendance What can people do about improving their Why do people show up attendance late or miss work? Not committed to work Find a job that you enjoy and can show up for on time. Do not like the boss Talk to your boss to resolve issues that lead to poor attendance. If it does not work, find another job. Lazy and tired Go to bed at a reasonable time. Poor time management skills Prioritize what is important and why you are running late for things. Perhaps you need to not take on as much if it is hurting your attendance and punctuality at work. Poor time management for travel Plan your travel for the unexpected. Leave earlier. Absent Abby REVIEW QUESTIONS: 1. What do you think was the general feeling of the team when they realized Absent Abby wasn’t around to do her part in the project? 2. How do you think the person chosen to do Absent Abby’s job felt when he/she was selected? 3. Do you think Absent Abby is respected by her team? Why or why not? 4. What could Absent Abby have done if she knew she was going to be out of the office on such a busy day? 5. What have you learned about being accountable and present at work? Does the work stop when Absent Abby is not around? Missed-Out Marvin REVIEW QUESTIONS: 1. What is the moral of the story for Missed-Out Marvin? 2. Is it possible that a person could miss out on fun and interesting events at work if he/she is absent or plays hooky too often? 3. Besides missing out on a chance to go to the NBA ALL-STAR game, what else happened to Missed-Out Marvin? 4. Was he disrespected in any way? 5. Why do you think that happened? 6. Would you have respect for a person who played hooky often and didn’t regard his work seriously? Why or why not? No-Show Nate! REVIEW QUESTIONS: 1. What do you think is going to happen to No-Show Nate in the next 20 minutes or so? Will he have visitors? Who do you think his visitors will be? 2. Is it possible that No-Show Nate made too many promises that he couldn’t possibly keep? How could he have handled the situation more effectively? 3. Why do you suppose he would make a commitment to be at those meetings and then not show up? Did he forget? Did he not listen to the employees who requested something of him? Does he not care? Is he too busy? 4. Does No-Show Nate really have an excuse for his behavior? Why or why not? 5. How much respect do you think he is going to get from the three other employees from now on? Workplace Attendance Student Self-Assessment 1. I usually wake up late every morning and hit the snooze button on my alarm at least 3 times. HOW CLOSELY DOES THIS DESCRIBE YOUR CURRENT SITUATION? Not at all Just a little Very close Right on! 1 2 3 4 2. I usually check the time on my watch at least 10 times each day. HOW CLOSELY DOES THIS DESCRIBE YOUR CURRENT SITUATION? Not at all Just a little Very close Right on! 1 2 3 4 3. I keep all of my appointment times organized so that I can be reminded and avoid being late. HOW CLOSELY DOES THIS DESCRIBE YOUR CURRENT SITUATION? Not at all Just a little Very close Right on! 1 2 3 4 4. I am always on time for personal meetings/activities. HOW CLOSELY DOES THIS DESCRIBE YOUR CURRENT SITUATION? Not at all Just a little Very close Right on! 1 2 3 4 5. I am always on time for work meetings/events. HOW CLOSELY DOES THIS DESCRIBE YOUR CURRENT SITUATION? Not at all Just a little Very close Right on! 1 2 3 4 6. I think that being late is disrespectful to others. HOW CLOSELY DOES THIS DESCRIBE YOUR CURRENT SITUATION? Not at all Just a little Very close Right on! 1 2 3 4 7. When I think I am going to be late to a meeting, I always call ahead to inform the others. HOW CLOSELY DOES THIS DESCRIBE YOUR CURRENT SITUATION? Not at all Just a little Very close Right on! 1 2 3 4 8. When I can’t attend a meeting, I always call ahead and give at least 6 hours notice. HOW CLOSELY DOES THIS DESCRIBE YOUR CURRENT SITUATION? Not at all Just a little Very close Right on! 1 2 3 4 Tabulate Your Score to the Punctuality Self-Assessment TOTAL SCORE WHAT IT MIGHT MEAN WHAT YOU SHOULD DO FOR FOLLOW-UP 32 You are a punctual person! Keep it up!! 24 to 31 You are in control of your Work with your teacher or on-time/late ratio! counselor to find out how you can get even higher scores! 16 to 23 You are on the right track! Take some time to practice developing your weak areas. 8 to 15 You have a few difficulties Spend some time with your with punctuality!! teacher or counselor so you can develop a strategy to improve in this area. QUESTIONS FOR THE STUDENTS: 1.In which areas of PUNCTUALITY from the Self-Assessment are you strongest? Weakest? 2.How do you explain this? Journal your responses to the following questions: 1. Why is proper workplace attendance an important habit to cultivate? 2. Why is it important to have a reputation as a punctual person? Final Thoughts: The actor/director, Woody Allen, once said that 80% of being successful is just showing up. If you think about it, he’s right. After all, if you are always late, have bad attendance, or play hooky you are going to miss out on a lot. You will miss out on important information, important events, and important opportunities. So manage your time effectively and don’t miss out on life! “The First Stage of Success is Just Showing Up! Proper Workplace Attendance” – Situational Judgment Questions 1. Jefferson is supposed to be in a staff meeting with the rest of his department. He felt that it would be time better spent if he got his big report done instead of sitting in on the meeting. What do you suppose could be an implication of his not showing up to the staff meeting? a. He might miss out on some important instructions as to how to finish his big report that is due. b. He might miss out on directions from the department manager for next week’s projects. c. He might be neglecting the needs of other coworkers who might need some information about his progress on the big project. d. All of the Above 2. Wilma is a good employee except she likes to “blow off” work on warm and sunny summer days. She makes excuses about being sick or having car trouble and she even takes days off without pay, just so she can relax at home. What would you say to Wilma if you were her boss? a. “Take all the time you need, you seem overworked.” b. “Get your butt in here right now!” c. “Your absenteeism has made you miss important meetings, it has made you lose the respect of your coworkers and it has severely killed your chances of a promotion because you have fallen so far behind in your work.” d. “Why are you always absent?” 3. Allison is late to work sometimes because of traffic. Her boss hasn’t said anything and her other coworkers are late sometimes also. Allison isn’t too worried about it. Is she right? a. Yes, if her boss doesn’t say anything, she must not care. b. Since other employees are late sometimes also, Allison doesn’t have to worry – she’s covered. c. Yes, traffic is a legitimate excuse. d. No, lack of punctuality is always a problem. The fact that her boss hasn’t said anything doesn’t mean that it isn’t damaging Allison’s reputation and/or career.