Time of people is not equal

Time of people is not equal

Each big company has its own hierarchy. The CEO, VPs, Directors, Managers, Supervisors, Employees and many many more. Sometimes it more matters what your title is than the purpose you are there for. Anyway, today we are speaking about time. Time is money. And it is absolutely true. Even worse. Based on who you are, you cost different money. So at the end of the day you are just money.

Let’s see what the average salaries of few positions in Czech Republic are. CEO $117000, Directors $77000, Developers $31000 and Janitors $8500. Let’s count about 2000 working hours a year. From Chart 1 we can clearly see that Janitor has about 15 times lower salary than a CEO. By a simple logic we can deduct whose time is more valuable. Even the difference between Director who has 2.5 more than Developer is still obvious.

Chart 1

And this simple mathematical logic must be communicated to all employees of your company. Simple message to everybody:

There are people whose time matters more

So once they are angry that their boss is delayed (again) they will understand. There are people who matter more. Hierarchy is clear. Jungle. Ice age.

Luckily people are not stupid. 10 minutes’ delay of 1:1 director to developer means loss of about $2.5. Not much. Try it twice a day for the whole year and your company loses $1250 just for being delay on 1:1 meetings. Oh and I forgot. Try to be delayed by 10 minutes for team meetings. You can start to multiply. We can calculate losses of thousands of dollars.

Yes, but…

…you are right. The employees lose time on coffee breaks, cigarettes, table soccer, using the toilet, etc. Plus in the waiting period for you they can work on the laptops and produce value. If we should calculate the exact time of everybody, so few minutes do not actually matter so much. INCORRECT!

                Why? The answer is about the culture we would like to have. Managers “few minutes’ delays are ok” attitude leads to:

  • Losing the drive as time obviously does not matter so much
  • Losing the authority of the manager as he has no respect to my time
  • Losing the motivation as my manager does not care so much either
  • Losing the dedication as I am wasting my time by waiting

It depends on the position you are in. If you are higher in the food chain, it is easy. You can use your hierarchical power. Worse situation is once you are used to waiting for someone who is higher in the food chain. There may be several tactics how to deal with that. In my experience the best way to deal with that is the truth. But please do interfere in situations that happen once per year. Interfere in the situations when the occurrence of delays is frequent and significant. The appropriate approach is in the formula:

Feelings to understand you + Solution to make you feel better => Agreement

So the example aligned with corporate policies and socially adequate with the respect to your manager may look like:

I don’t feel comfortable with losing my time waiting for you. Should I move the meeting to begin 10 minutes later?

Or if you have the luxury having a friendly relationship to be less formal:

Dude, again? I am really pissed off angry by waiting for you every time! Should we move the meeting or its start or should I also just come 10 minutes later so that we are here on time both?

And the last tip if previous do not work? (note: This tip works only in environments where more than half of the people would like to start on time, otherwise you are doomed and your company is seriously losing money)

Good practice tip is that for each five minutes’ delay you deserve a dot on the board (or you can receive points based on how long your delays are). No matter who you are. Each dot means you are paying a beer on next teambuilding or you must contribute to the common cashbox which may be used, of course, for beer. Or the charity. It depends on what kind of team you are part of. But at the end of the day it teaches you mutual respect and being on time.