You’ve eliminated downloads, dial-in numbers and passcodes. You’ve sent free/busy polls to find the best time to meet. You’ve given your team mobile meeting apps with calendar alerts and push notifications. Still, your team arrives late to online meetings, and you’ve heard all the worst late-for-meeting excuses.
Once you have all the right technology in place, and workers are still late to meetings, what can you do to get them there on time?
5 Ways to Break Bad Late-to-Meetings Habits
If your team has the right online meeting tools, and they’re still late for meetings, try these five tips to wrangle everyone together on time:
- Abide by the IOU Rule: Institute a rule that if anyone’s late, they owe something to everyone in the meeting to compensate for lost time. The key is to keep it light and positive: cupcakes, a round of coffees, a lunch run, etc. This way, you build in consequences for tardiness without hurting morale, and you encourage everyone to think about the real costs of being late to meetings.
- Reward your early birds. If you prefer positive reinforcement, offer rewards to those that show up on time: wear your jeans on Monday, telecommute on Friday, take a two-hour lunch break, etc.
- Match up meeting mentors. It may be easier for employees to say no to the boss than their comrades, so assign meeting buddies. Pair punctual teammates with tardy members so they can be held accountable by their peers.
- Give them a mission. Create meeting roles for each team member: assign presentations, ask someone to be in charge of recording and archiving the meeting, make someone else a meeting yoda, etc. By giving them responsibilities, you’ll make them feel more like they’re an active participant, not just a passive viewer, and motivate them to arrive on time.
- Surprise your team. Reorganize your entire meeting: shorten it by standing up, make it fun by going outside, create a more intimate environment by inviting less people, go for the out of the ordinary with a science fair presentation, etc. You may be surprised by how much more engagement you receive by making meetings something they want to be on time for.
Of course, you can’t hold tardiness over their heads if life happens, their phone battery dies on the road, their home Wi-Fi drops or your online meeting technology really is holding them back.
And if it’s the latter, invest in something that will get them there on time: iMeet®.