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For a long time I was the only developer at my company. Last year, we hired two more entry level devs. I have no management experience or training and very few managerial duties, but by virtue of my seniority I am in a position of some authority and on paper they report to me. Point is, calling me a terrible manager is not helpful. I expect I am, but I want to know how to improve.

We have a morning meeting where my team is expected to report to me their progress the past day and set goals for the new day. I can then report to the boss (owner) what the team is up to. The boss has repeatedly pushed to set an 8 am start for the work day, but this was unpopular and I have been able to hold our meetings to 10 am instead. The meeting is consistently punctual. If I call the meeting at 10:01 I consider myself late. This is important to me since I feel that if I don't respect my own schedule why should the team?

Lately (over the past few months), one of our team members has been consistently showing up for work later and later. I didn't say anything since I don't want to send the message that obeying some clock is more important than getting your work done, and the employee has been consistently putting in his 40 hours a week (I can verify this, since we are required to punch a time clock). My gut says that the quality of his work has suffered, but I do not have solid objective evidence of that.

It has become a bit of a problem now though because he is showing up late for the morning meetings. Once last week and now two days in a row last week. I have asked him if there is anything going on or if he needs any sort of accommodation from the company. He said no, that he was sorry and that he would try to be on time. This was a couple weeks ago and he has not improved. I have asked the other dev if he knows anything and he says he does not.

At this point I do not feel that pushing the meeting back further will help. All of us were able to make the 8:00 - 8:30 start time when the boss was breathing down our necks about it. He knows it, we know it. I am concerned that if I do not come up with a solution the boss will re-impose stricter rules and my team will lose some of the flexibility that we now enjoy. What sort or carrots or sticks might I offer to prevent this from happening?

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    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has beenmoved to chat. – enderland Oct 30 '14 at 18:57
  • I would go with the late meeting or go to meeting, but, you have been placed in a 'management' position without training. Perhaps you should kick it up to your supervisor. What are your policies and procedures? Does the individual contribute? – user29119 Oct 31 '14 at 6:28
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    I am curious: if the 10AM meeting is supposed to determine the schedule of the day, what do the developpers have to do if they arrive before? Is it not sending the message that coming before 10AM is not important? – Taladris Nov 1 '14 at 14:13
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    @iheanyi - There is a thin line between being disciplinarian and being draconian with these things. That "minimum" is the first course of action. It is a problem only if it is a recurring habit, and especially if the duration is more pronounced than a single minute. Definitely not at the expense of efficiency, but one definitely needs to be a bit liberal towards these issues, or soon you would end with hostile employees/work culture, and that's almost surely never productive. :) – 299792458 Mar 28 '17 at 7:51
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    @TheDarkSide It is clear this employee is consistently late. There is a difference between showing up late for work and showing up late for scheduled meetings. The fact is, whether or not it us serious, late is late. Consistent lateness without any effort on the employee to give a heads up or explain is grounds for firing. A coworker who doesn't respect his fellow employee's time has created a hostile environment and if left unchecked could damage culture as everyone else sees management doesn't care. – iheanyi Mar 28 '17 at 14:01

12 Answers 12

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You have at least three issues here:

  • you and the other dev waiting for him to join the morning meeting is wasting time and perhaps upsetting the two of you
  • he would like flex time, to come in when he likes as long as he hits 40 hours and gets his stuff done, but the morning meeting is interfering with that now
  • you think overall his quality of work dropped when he shifted his work hours, but you're not entirely sure on that one

Why not try this: make it an end-of-day meeting instead of a morning meeting. Nobody can leave until it has been held. Schedule it for [length-of-meeting] minutes before whenever a 40-hour-a-week person would leave if they came in at 8. (If such a person would leave at 4, hold it at 3:45.]

Now you can all talk about what you did today, and what you will continue to do if you're not leaving yet, and what you'll be doing first thing tomorrow before LateGuy is in. You can cover all the same bases as a morning meeting but without having to wait for LateGuy. What's more, the early people can take action at 8am if they learn from LateGuy that such action needs to be taken.

If you do this, he is now free to have his flex time (within reason - he can't work 8pm to 4am or you wouldn't be able to have a meeting.) Perhaps with the tension removed, his productivity and quality will go back to where they were. Perhaps he'll start coming in at 11, or noon, or 3, and you'll have to drill more deeply into what is happening and how the company feels about it. But more likely he will arrive roughly between 9:30 and 10:30 most days, and get to work, and you'll be fine.

If it turns out that end-of-day meetings just don't work and you and the other on-time arriver are suffering with an end of day meeting, then you have to tell him that he must regularize his hours enough that there is a time in the morning (and not 11:59 either) when you can be sure he will be in so that a morning meeting can be held. Get his agreement on a time and then if you must, get the boss to make it clear that being in by that time is a condition of employment. But don't go there until you've given end of day meetings a fair try. That should increase the chances he'll agree to a reasonable schedule for beginning of day ones if they're vital.

(By the way, my guess is that he's recently started an evening activity -- online gaming, or a new significant other, or square dancing -- and is staying up later and later every night in some semi-addictive spiral, then having a harder and harder time getting up in the morning. His tiredness is causing the quality lapse, and he resists your actions because he tells himself that he will stop earlier tonight and not have a problem any more. If this is what's happening he may spiral himself right out of a job, or the initial excitement may wear off and he may go back to a more normal rhythm. But you can't manage assuming this is the case, hence my suggestion for a reasonable rearrangement, at least as an experiment.)

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    Moving the meeting later sounds like a good idea - having a recap "what did you do today" meeting makes more sense than "what did you do yesterday". The information is still fresh in your mind. – Andrew Medico Oct 30 '14 at 1:33
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    If the OP is using the Agile development methodology, the meeting is actually intended to be at the start of the day, and Agile development is based on that meeting being at the start of the day. It is a highly iterative development methodology based on judging every morning what needs to be done that day. It is also used to refresh the events of the past day so you don't need to spend the first hour of your job figuring out what you wrote last night and why. – Nzall Oct 30 '14 at 10:41
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    @NateKerkhofs I've run teams with a end of day standup (our PO worked the evening shift, so her day started at 16:00). It works just as well as a morning standup. – mlk Oct 30 '14 at 13:51
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    @NateKerkhofs The very first principle of Agile development is, and I quote: "Individuals and interactions over processes and tools"; the 4th principle of Agile specifies only working together daily, not what time of day this occurs; and Scrum methods specify a preference for beginning-of-day meetings, but do not require it to be at such a time. Also, regular daily meetings are not for emergencies or development of solutions; if something big comes up that's time for an emergency "all hands on deck" crisis meeting and a team meeting to work on a solution to one specific problem. – BrianH Oct 30 '14 at 14:30
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    I've seen a variety of problems from start-of-day standups. Not just the people that aren't in on time for the meeting, but also other people who are in earlier but don't really start doing anything useful until post-standup. Can easily waste an hour every morning that way. – Carson63000 Oct 30 '14 at 23:14
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This topic is a big favorite of mine, or more specifically: the topic of establishing "rules of conduct" for a team. A lot of times I see rules being established and enforced, without much thought being spent on the actual value of that rule.

So what's the value of being on time, in other words having mandatory time where people are working? Most times, this boils down to being available for other people, so called office hours, or participating in meetings. If you can keep the mandatory available hours to say, 6 out of a total of 8 hours of daily work, in general you'll see an increase in productivity since people can adjust their working hours to the times they are productive. Both in the sense of morning people working earlier, as well as leaving early when you're having a bad day and staying late when you're "in the zone"

So how to enforce the hours when we actually want people to be available? The principle to use here is to steal some warfare psychology: a soldier is not loyal to his generals (management), but to the people next to him in the trench (team members). So instead of saying "I expect you all to be here from time x to time y every day", gather the team and explain to them that you'd like to have 6 hours every day when they are available, and let them decide for themselves what these times should be. Reoccurring meetings should then be placed within the timeframe of these hours, and no one should get any criticism for being out of office outside of these times (with exceptions for specific meetings/commitments etc).

And then to finally answer the question, how do you deal with a team member consistently showing up late? Gather the team every now and then (for instance the retrospective if you're doing Scrum), show them the list of rules that they themselves (with your facilitation) have come up with, and have them talk about which ones are not working and why. This will have a greater impact than any way you yourself can motivate/threaten/manipulate the teammember to show up on time

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    +1 great idea. People are way more likely to participate if they feel they are part of the decision process. Oh by-the-way, the whole concept of "you have to be here at hour X" doesn't make any sense to most software developers (from what I've seen). – Radu Murzea Oct 29 '14 at 20:37
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    This. A developer very rarely has time-critical events within a day - eg phone calls at 9am. They have 40 hours of work per week, and if they could do that in one 49 hour block, so be it. A degree of flexibility in the time of your workday boosts morale and usually productivity (I'm useless before 10am, even though I show up at 9am... I'd get more work done by shifting my day back an hour) while allowing your staff to do more with their life. If nothing else, you'll lose less time to doctor appointments etc. Note that being too draconian may well lose you a developer, not improve punctuality. – Jon Story Oct 30 '14 at 0:52
  • I should add that I thought I was posting in PM, not workplace, when writing this. My answer is still the same, with the possible addition that depending on your de facto authority in this group, you should be careful on how you facilitate these discussions. In one way it can be to your advantage that you're a teammember more than a manager, but depending on culture (corporate as well as national) your authority on paper could influence how best to approach this – magnus.westrom Oct 30 '14 at 12:15
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    @Steve:Calling others "childish narcissists" without even attempting to view things from the perspective of others is also exhibiting narcissistic behavior. There's a myriad of reasons that people prefer to work the schedules that they do and being childish or narcissistic is generally not the reason. I've found that people develop a "feel" for the times they are needed and when they aren't and most adjust their schedule accordingly. Expecting others to be at work at a specific time when it isn't really necessary is in and of itself quite narcissistic. – Dunk Nov 3 '14 at 17:56
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    @Steve:It's totally different if a person is needed and chooses not to make themselves available but I don't think this is OPs issue. One of the reasons people choose programming-like careers is because of the ability to have flexible hours within reason. There's certainly phases of projects where you want everyone together, but most of the time it doesn't matter. What matters is how productive the developers are. I personally don't kick into gear until around 3, but because I lead teams I'm in by 8. So the company usually loses out on 6 hours of otherwise exceptional production from me daily. – Dunk Nov 4 '14 at 19:20
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I believe the answer is in your description of the problem. I would tell your developer that if he doesn't show up for the meeting at the regular time, the boss will set it back to the 8am timeframe, and that would be worse for everyone. Also asking (or reminding him) about the upcoming meeting next day at the end of the work day may also help, because it will show him that you care and it is important.

If he continues to show up late, then you may have no choice than talking to your boss and possibly have a conversation (the three of you) about it to sort it out.

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    I would strongly caution against using 8am as a weapon. If it's going to affect everyone adversely you put yourself at risk of alienating the "good" dev and losing both. Not to mention the risk of destroying your own morale and creating a negative impact on your performance. If the dev already doesn't care enough about the 10am meeting to show up on time then making it earlier will likely see the same if not worse attendance results. – Foosh Oct 29 '14 at 16:50
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    Not really his weapon, but his boss's. My point is - you set it for the best time for every one in the team, but remind this particular person that this arrangement may be derailed by the boss towards a (undesired) 8am if anyone (him especially) fails to adhere. – user1220 Oct 29 '14 at 16:54
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    Building up a regime of fear currently costs a company [I've worked for] many great employees. – phresnel Oct 31 '14 at 18:15
  • @phresnel true, but if one could replace a fearful employee with a non-fearful one, might be worth it. – iheanyi Mar 27 '17 at 19:24
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I don't want to send the message that obeying some clock is more important than getting your work done

But in this case it is important, because not obeying the clock prevents work from getting done.

Every minute he is late for the meeting is a minute you spend waiting for him. These are two minutes where you and the other worker are unproductive while on the clock.

There are two possible courses of action:

  1. Authoritarian approach: Make him understand that being late for meetings is wasting the time of you and your colleague and insist that he is punctual. Being on-time for meetings is part of professionalism.
  2. Diplomatic approach: Although 10am is already quite late to show up for work in most cultures, the time could still be inconvenient for him. You could push the meeting further back to ensure that everyone is present, like after lunch.
  • I tend to disagree (for the type of meeting the op is referring to). Usually when someone is late to a meeting with only <=1 manager and <= 5 people, the others (usually your coworkers) are chit chatting and relaxing. In a sick sense, it's actually a good thing. As long as the developer isn't more than 5 min late, he's ok. And if he apologizes for being late, albeit almost every day, that's showing he's trying. – goku_da_master Mar 27 '17 at 21:00
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When he says "no, that he was sorry and that he would try to be on time" he is telling you there isn't really a reason for him being late. At least, nothing he thinks you can help him with.

Many workplaces have a flexible time schedule, but still have "core hours" which everybody should be present for. You could try implementing a similar rule.

He may not understand the importance of being on time. If he gets his work done, so what? That is where you need to explain to him why it is important. (assuming it is important). Since it sounds like you did that already, and he is still being late, maybe it still isn't important to him. What repercussions will this behavior have on him if he continues to be late? The answer to that question may be "important enough" for him to start showing up on time.

He could still have a legitimate issue - though if you follow the paragraph above and he still won't tell you why he has such a hard time then his issue could be something extremely personal (Depression comes to mind - can make it difficult to get out of bed). He may just not like the job, or the people he's working with. These would all affect his work performance as well. The problem with an issue like these is that he won't want to admit it and he may not even be aware of it, but so long as you ask if there is a problem and he says "no"... unless you see obvious signs that he needs help (Which means, you should recommend getting help. Or even push him to get help) there isn't much you can recommend or do about his problem - It may be he just isn't a good fit for the company.

I would just try letting him know the consequences of his actions first. You seem like you are understanding and want to work this out with him. He should see that as well. Just know you may end up having to fire him if the cost of his lateness is too high.

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    On the not of Depression, it could be occupational burn out, the symptoms are almost identical. Even if he's not over worked there are tons of other ways to find yourself in burn out. Feeling under utilized or valued, feeling business process gets in the way of real work, etc. In these cases though the advice is mostly the same saving if it's burn out, it could be a indicator that perhaps the cause in issues in management. (the OP says this is his first gig, no fault to him he just might need to tweek his process) But yeah Depression and burnout, total motivation vampires. – RualStorge Oct 29 '14 at 19:04
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    On the flip side, you may just convince your dev that your insistence on meetings that he finds unproductive and hours that he doesn't like aren't worth dealing with to him and you may lose your dev. In general, insisting on business practices that don't have an actual discernible positive impact is a good way to get engineers to leave. – reirab Oct 30 '14 at 18:59
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    @reirab Agreed. This is why I included the question, If he gets his work done, so what? and assuming it[these meetings] is important. – DoubleDouble Oct 30 '14 at 20:05
  • Adding to my previous comment, if explaining why it is important seems to be a challenge - take a look at @Ryan's answer. he covers the issue fairly well if the meeting itself is not useful, and can perhaps give the OP an argument to talk to their boss for even more leniency. – DoubleDouble Oct 30 '14 at 20:23
  • Frequent lack of time management could be an indication of adult ADHD, see rcpsych.ac.uk/healthadvice/problemsdisorders/adhdinadults.aspx and adultadhd.org.au/documents/facts-sheets/…. Adults with ADHD have plenty of motivation, but lack the executive mental skills required to plan effectively. – Martijn Pieters Nov 8 '17 at 8:18
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This article is directed at performance reviews, but the first half is describing the same "late" issue:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/article/20141028123557-9522584-the-biggest-career-killer-of-all-time-the-performance-review

"Six months of lost potential because of one stupid comment about showing up to work on time."

I doubt very seriously you are gathering any usable metrics meeting every single day, maybe change this meeting to one or two times a week and plan further ahead?

Personally my team has a scrum meeting two times a week and we send daily emails detailing our workload/impediments. Pointless meetings are a productivity killer for a developer so my advice would be change the format of the information exchange and limit the face time so it becomes important and not just something to do.

Some food for thought: I solve some of the biggest work problems laying in bed at 2 in the morning. I can't sleep if its on my mind, it keeps me up and I keep trying to solve it. I wouldn't care to even remember the problem it if I'm worried its 2 am and I have to get to a meeting to talk about the crap I did yesterday instead of fixing things that matter.

Enforcing strict time will get you the warm body in the door, but the brain is a far more valuable commodity. Just my 2 cents.

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    Indeed, we need to make more room for the people who are more productive at the end of the day. Take e.g. Sidney Coleman: "Famously nocturnal, he refused to teach a 9 a.m. class because, he said, “I can’t stay up that late.”" . – Count Iblis Oct 30 '14 at 0:04
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As someone in development and oversees others there are things to be addressed here.

The Boss wanted the meetings first thing in the morning (8am) and you as a team persuaded him to give you some freedom to push it to 10am... 10am is a very late start to the day in most of the world. Not being able to make it reliably to work by 10am is a problem.

There are several ways to tackle this problem, all have their pros and cons to be considered. (I will be including some that are perhaps less ethical)

Cause

WHY is this person chronically late? Do they depend on others for transportation? Have something they do before work that's been going long as of late? Feel there are no consequences likely to come of this? Simply not care anymore?

There could be very valid reasons for the repeated tardiness. If you could get to the bottom of it to know "Why" you're better able to help resolve the problem. (Find an alternate form of transportation, set priorities, or take disciplinary action for example)

Authority

The authority approach tends to be the go to traditional approach. It's rather effective short term but really unpopular with the staff. Basically it's "You need to be here by 10am or we'll find someone else who will." We all prefer to be good people who trust our employees to do the right thing with only a little prodding as needed, sometimes when people get complacent you have to give them a little kick to remind them they do have obligations to meet.

Diplomacy

Some people are very receptive to what is effectively bribery. Find something they want you can reasonably provide. Salary increases actually are only marginally effective here. (unless their underpaid) but everyone has something they want perhaps soda, coffee, the occasional thank you, etc. Find something this person wants you can offer... IF they can get to work on time reliably.

Exclusion

A common tactic is provide a reason for the person to WANT to be there on time. fresh coffee, donuts, bagels, etc available at the meeting in limited quantities. Well meeting is at 10am break out the bagels then, if people are still hungry they eat a second one, if there's none left when he strolls in late, well that's just a shame isn't it?

NOTE: The below are NOT serious answers but will likely prove satisfying to the frustrated troll who wants to lash out inappropriate ways

Evil Diplomacy

Diplomacy can also be used as a public shaming tactic. It's pretty shady stuff, but sometimes it's your most effective route. (might not work for you with such a small team) Offer to buy the team lunch IF EVERYONE shows up on time reliably for X amount of time. If this guy drops the ball it'll piss off his coworkers. Sometimes employees feel less guilty about letting down a supervisor then the person that works along side them.

Even more Evil Diplomacy

Give some benefit to everyone who was on time reliably. Make the lunch proposition for the team, then say you felt guilty about not giving the team lunch because of one person's actions than take the rest of the team out without them. This is truly not nice stuff, and honestly is pretty lousy, but tends to bring things to head. (usually by that person quitting)

The Final Solution (yes I knew that's in poor taste)

Start the meeting at 10am, when he strolls in late fire him on the spot. (assuming you have the authority to do so)

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    Not only is the "final solution" part of your post in poor taste (as you acknowledged) it is also extreme, and in some/many parts of the world, not legal. – Joe Oct 29 '14 at 17:43
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    @DoubleDouble In the UK, for example, you can't summarily dismiss someone for turning up late. If it goes that far, you ought to get HR involved and get a paper trail. Then your company is much less likely to be at the wrong end of an unfair dismissal case. – richardb Oct 29 '14 at 18:41
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    Well to be entirely honest I don't recommend any of these other that "Cause" followed by "Authority" or "Diplomacy" depending on the specifics. If unsuccessful dismissal per normal channels. (It's been a rough week so semi vented in what I felt was a humorous and hopefully obvious terrible, but probably very satisfy way of tackling this problem...) Also said, sad fact pretty much all of this is legal in most of the US. some parts the Final solution wouldn't be wise, the Even more evil Diplomacy could also land you in hot water. Sorry, frustration and all. – RualStorge Oct 29 '14 at 18:53
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    Evil diplomacy WILL ruin team morale. The only thing worse than being publicly shamed is realising that you could be next, and that essentially your boss has resorted to bullying. Team satisfaction will plummet, and if the team member is popular you may find yourself on the end of a backlash. – Jon Story Oct 30 '14 at 0:57
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    @DavidConrad it was partly in jest and good fun, basically crap day I don't disagree it's not particularly useful. – RualStorge Oct 30 '14 at 21:03
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The first thing I am thinking - why the quality of work is worse because he starts later? Also you said its just a gut feeling. So I guess now the first thing is to find out how to measure the real quality.

If it turns out the real quality is bad, then just say him - we are going to cut your salary, because your quality is worse than it is needed for this salary.

If it turns out that the quality is not getting worse, then I think there is no problem with him coming later - its an advantage of the company of having flexible hours and in result - happier worker, more loyal worker.

On the other hand - worker is not listening what the boss is telling him to do. There is good reason to tell - if you will not listen what we are telling - we don't need you at the company.

There is another side of this problem. Is the company good enough for the worker so he cares about trying to be good worker. Chances are that he does not get what he wants from the company and maybe his salary is also not the one which makes him to be afraid of being fired, then the solution should be - to find out what he wants from the company to be happy and then ask from him seriously - if he stops being late - he gets what he wants from the company (if possible).

One more thing - salary raise might not be biggest motivator. But with the bigger salary offer you can put advertisement that you are searching worker, one of the important requirements is - be at work not too late. And if you are lucky - you find better worker and problem is solved.

Before putting an advertisement - again talk with the worker seriously - if he does not stop being late, then we are going to find new one and you will be replaced. And give him last chance to improve.

I think good chances are that company is low on budget since it might be small company and so not possible to give big salary or other benefits.

But then it would be the similar as asking - how can I get a Ferrari but having budget only for Opel Vectra.

So if the company is not as good as it tries to find good worker, then probably it should just to be happy while he is working and bringing some profit even if it is not the highest possible profit.

The Opel Vectra will not drive you to the destination at same speed as Ferrri, but it still will drive :)

Or if you think its not profitable to keep him then again - fire him.

Update:

I am not saying to do things blindly cause they might put negative effect. Those which I mention - is just to go through logical steps.

For example - tell him we will cut salary - now we go to next step thinking - is it would it really be good or would it be bad. If this is not the case, then what else options we have. And so on. And then if we don't have any good options, then if he brings profit at least small - we keep him, if he does not - fire him.

Also we need to think about long term profit and small term profit. And what are the chances that he will stay so we finally are at a time which we think is long enough term.

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This is what is known as "dollars waiting on dimes" and is counter-productive. You are trying to manage your day as well as the team's so everyone needs to cooperate.

obeying some clock is more important than getting your work done

This meeting is part of getting work done. Communication is important.

I have asked him if there is anything going on or if he needs any sort of accommodation from the company. He said no, that he was sorry and that he would try to be on time.

He isn't keeping up his end of the deal. You can try and offer alternative times, but this person has no excuse for not keeping the time you have set; there may be problems he's not willing to admit like he has sleep issues.

Be willing to work with him, but at some point, he is not allowed to waste your time. You have other things to do. I'm afraid a plan is going to need to set some realistic goals (no more than one missed day a week/month) and there have to be consequences for not complying.

For whatever reason, your boss thinks this is important, so you should have support on being able to deal with this person. I hope it doesn't come to that. It seems like you're willing to be flexible and this person may be taking advantage of the situation. Also consider how he behaves at the meeting. Is he reluctant to talk with others? He gets things done so he should have any issues with not wanting to discuss any failures.

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A conference call could be a viable option as an alternate way to attend. This would let you hold your meeting at a consistent time while allowing the developer (and perhaps others on your team) an easy way to participate if they find they are running late or can't physically attend.

  • this reads more like a comment, see How to Answer – gnat Oct 30 '14 at 15:30
  • I just read that, don't see anything about what constitutes a 'comment' versus an 'answer'. If I were in a position where I was unable to consistently be physically present at a required meeting I would appreciate the conference call. It gets you past the immediate problem and lets you focus more on the business at hand. – bluemorpho Oct 30 '14 at 15:44
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    Hi i68040, thanks for checking out the how to answer link. What we're looking for in the answers is solutions, not questions but actual answers that provide an explanation. We're looking to teach, not just tell. One way to do this would be to share a personal experience you had that demonstrates this problem, provide a good explanation of why this solves the problem both for employee and manager. Check out the up voted answers to get an idea of what we're looking for. Hope this helps and welcome to The Workplace SE! :) – jmort253 Oct 31 '14 at 4:31
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    While this might not be what Stack-Exchange generally considers a high quality answer, and probably even counts as low quality answer, it is still an answer. If it had been posted as a comment, it would easily have gotten a response "Please don't post answers as comments." There is a question at the start of it, sure, but the answer is just as valid as any of the others, and the actual point of the answer is a great one. Someone could just edit out the question if it bothers them that much; might be more useful than downvoting. – Aaron May 8 '17 at 22:09
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The first thing you need to do is discuss this with your boss. There are two potential goals for this meeting

  1. Acquire the power necessary to take any action necessary to ensure compliance; or,
  2. Ask your boss to step in.

A "manager" who does not have hire/fire capabilities is, in my opinion, not really a manager. The people you manage will ultimately walk all over you if they feel that you have zero ability to create or enforce the rules.

So, if I were in your shoes, I'd go to the boss and ask him to empower me such that I actually have the authority necessary for the position I hold. A good boss will give that to you. Then you can have a private talk with the individual and explain to them that the work day starts at 9:00am or whatever it is you prefer.

If your boss is unwilling to give you such authority, then you will need him to step in and have this talk with that individual. Certainly this path is easier for you, but, quite frankly, if you want a real management role you should be shooting for the first option.

I understand developers often dislike working when the rest of the world is engaged; I was one for many years. However, I also understand that there are a lot of reasons that being at their desk when the rest of the world is available can also be very important.

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    "A "manager" who does not have hire/fire capabilities is, in my opinion, not really a manager." This is probably culture dependant. I've seen a lot of managers who only have influence in who gets hired/fired, not the final say. – Mast Oct 30 '14 at 15:12
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    @Mast: You might have a laugh over this one: english.stackexchange.com/questions/169075/… – NotMe Oct 30 '14 at 15:14
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I'm such an employee who likes to show up late. My reasons are that I like the nightlife I'm not a morning person and that I'm not satisfied with my job.

If my manager were to give me an ultimatum 'show up on time or we will fire you', I would show up on time, but I would also be spending most of my time looking for another job. If he does not do that then nothing is likely to change. It might be a sign this developer thinks he is underpaid and he doesnt think his job is all that valuable. So before you issue such an ultimatum do a cost/benefit analysis (cost of replacement).

Clarification: I see three options for a manager dealing with someone like me:

The softer approach is to mostly ignore the situation and maybe talk about it without issueing an ultimatum. this is what my manager does. This never hurts however it might not help very much.

If the analysis turns out that the cost of replacement is less than the benefits of somebody showing up on time, then its good to go with a 'hard' approach and issue an ultimatum.

The last option is if this person is not easy to replace and you really need him in your meeting at 10. Then you might consider the 'appeasement' approach and try to make a deal. Listen to what he wants so he will show up on time. What I do not recommend is a 'bluff' approach of issuing an ultimatum even if the cost of replacement is higher than the benefit of your dev showing up on time.

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    this reads more like a comment, see How to Answer – gnat Oct 30 '14 at 17:27
  • its a different perspective on the matter and may help him answer his question. giving a straight answer would be highly misleading. – Tim Zwart Oct 30 '14 at 21:27
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    I think this could be greatly improved if you included some explanation as to how this will work out practically for the asker. Are you telling the asker to ignore the situation entirely? It clearly is bothering them, given they have asked it. Can you edit to clarify a bit more? Thanks! – enderland Oct 31 '14 at 2:58
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    I hope this helps – Tim Zwart Oct 31 '14 at 15:40
  • I think there is an answer in there, and I would back you up as I did for another answer, but your wall-of-text makes it difficult to follow. – Aaron May 8 '17 at 22:13

protected by enderland Oct 31 '14 at 15:57

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