Don't Punish the Prompt

My church has an exercise class 2 days a week, led by 2 different instructors. I’ve written about the Monday instructor and her famous 1000 rep routine she throws in every few weeks. What I haven’t told you is she is always the first one in the room ready with a plan for the hour, has her upbeat music lined up, and always starts on time. As a result, participants show up on time, ready to get started.

The Wednesday instructor is nothing like the Monday instructor. She’s always running in with seconds to spare, scrambling to get set up, frantically searching for the right music and usually starting…and ending…late. Thus, most participants don’t bother to be on time, either. Class starts a bit later each week as people straggle in. Once she gets started, her instruction is fine. It’s just the disorganization at the beginning that sets an unprofessional tone.

Being on time is one of the core values of Finders Keepers. I define “on time” as at least 5 minutes before the scheduled shift begins. This gives each employee a moment to set an intention for the day and get organized. Being late is a sign of disrespect, for your co-workers, customers, leadership team and, well, me.

I just fired a new hire because he was late several times during his 30-day trial period. That speaks volumes about his future with the company, his concern for his co-workers and job, and about his likely success in any profession that requires one to be on time.

I had a Pilates instructor who always started class on time. She refused to “punish the prompt” by waiting on latecomers and we respected that. Her class, her rules. I won’t praise the procrastinators or punish the prompt by allowing tardiness in my business. My stores, my rules.

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