I have a direct refusing to attend a staff meeting on a particular day. Currently we have our staff meetings at the conclusion of business on Thursday. For a number of reasons we have to move it to Wednesday. My direct has stated that he absolutely cannot under any circumstances attend on Wednesday because of personal commitments.

Wednesday, however, is the best day to conduct these meetings. Am I being stubborn in insisting that we must do these meetings Wednesday night? If I re-arrange our collective schedule am I "caving" to the pressure of a direct or setting a precident that if someone doesn't want to do it they just have to say no and make a little fuss and that is the end of it? Am I putting the wishes of the direct in front of the efficiency of the business?

Let me know.


HMac's picture

Sounds like you ARE putting the wishes of one in front of the business.

You said that there are a variety of reasons for moving the meeting: have you shared them with all your directs, so they understand this isn't arbitrary?

But I think there's something else going on here:
From my vantage point, I'd guess that your direct has some issue that's causing a lot of dissatisfaction, and he's choosing this one thing to confront you about.

jhack's picture

[quote="bradleymewes"]Am I being stubborn in insisting that we must do these meetings Wednesday night?[/quote]
Is it reasonable to do them at night? Why not a staff meeting in the morning? Does the nature of the work require it?

And do you know what his personal commitment is? Chemotherapy? Special Olympics coaching? Likes to grocery shop on Wednesday?

Don't misinterpret: directs need to make the meetings you set up. You haven't explained why only Wed night will work, so it's hard to tell what the real drivers are here.


tlhausmann's picture
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[quote="bradleymewes"]Am I being stubborn in insisting that we must do these meetings Wednesday night? [/quote]

Hi Brad,

If I understand the issue you are wondering about a problem with staff meetings [i]outside of normal business hours[/i]? You could be bumping into any host of family issues, church, school, kids, day care schedules, family counseling, etc.

When I was growing up, Wednesday evenings were *always* a designated church night so that school activities (concerts, games, parent-teacher conferences, etc.) did not interfere with church committee, youth activities, or special services.

dad2jnk's picture

Personal commitment could mean everything from Family Night to attending church service on Wednesday evening. Your management capital will increase if you work around family and personal commitments.

Soapbox: Why have a staff meeting after the close of business? That is when everyone is off the clock (either hourly or salary) and your attention should turn to your family or friends or pets, etc. You are stealing their time and you should be extremely sensative to that.

My advice is to hold the weekly staff meeting during normal business hours or do it during lunch. In my experience, after a hard day is not the best time to hold a productive staff meeting.

All the best, Ken

TomW's picture
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I have two questions:
1) why is this meeting after the end of business and not during the work day?
2) why is Wednesday so much better than any other day to have the meeting?

Maybe the guy has to pick up his kids because his wife works that night or is in school and has class that night. Everyone has "personal commitments" that they really can't get out of without causing severe problems in their personal life. Most people will choose that over a meeting, especially if that meeting was moved without any consideration for their schedule.

madamos's picture
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You need to understand further the personal commitment. How long will the personal commitment be an issue? Is there any flexibility? You may need to first show your flexibility for the staff meeting before you will get flexibility from them.

I had an issue when I first started my staff meeting with two of my directs having a conflicting meeting. They couldn't really miss the meeting since it revolved around one of their key job responsibilities. I allowed these directs to attend the meeting, although they had to attend a little late. I had worked this out with the meeting organizer in advance. My directs were allowed to drop off of my staff meeting early.

My flexibility paid off. In a few months time the conflicting meeting organizer rescheduled their meeting to accomadate my staff meeting. They did because I was flexible with them for a few months. My team also got the message that the staff meeting is important and they need to come to me before they can miss the meeting. There have been several times where I have been asked if they can miss the meeting and I have denied the request.