I appreciate that my husband and I apprise each other when we have meetings or travel that alters our usual schedule or upcoming plans.  This same courtesy is something that should also be implemented in the workplace.

Forwardly communicating a change of your availability allows everyone to plan accordingly.  Notifying others involved in group efforts, as far in advance of your absence as possible, affords them an opportunity to:

  • Reschedule the meeting
  • Add time-sensitive items to an earlier agenda
  • Request a proxy for you
  • Review items in advance personally with you
  • Better plan for the success of the project at hand

Fulfilling your commitments, except in cases of illness or emergency, builds your credibility with others who will not only know they can rely on you but will appreciate the fact that you value other associates’ time and role within the group. Many individuals don’t see this as a big deal, but missed participation by any team member can cause delays and reduced productivity.  This especially holds true if the delinquent person holds a significant role that requires them to sign off at various stages of a project.  When a project can’t move forward, the cost associated can be significant.  Labor and other overhead costs continue, regardless of whether the project does.

When it comes to the interview process, if a participant (whether interviewer or interviewee) notifies the other party when a delay will occur, the process will run much more smoothly.  If they don’t and several days go by with no communication, either party can feel the other is not engaged in the process. Lack of consideration to communicate a delay with explanation most always causes the opposite party to question the match.  More often than not, this will result in them declining to move forward in the process.

Notifying a potential new employer prior to solidifying an offer of a preplanned vacation scheduled within the first year of employment is also necessary.  If the time is more than a long weekend, their policies may not allow for the time, even if you are okay with taking it unpaid.  This could result in a botched relationship out of the gate. Don’t be mistaken by thinking they will change their policies for you because you will prove your performance to be invaluable.

If an associate of yours is waiting for something from you that you will be late for, common courtesy is to notify the parties involved and confirm they acknowledged the “heads up”.  If you think there is not a need to communicate in the aforementioned circumstances, you are mistaken.  Those who find value in the courtesy of giving “heads up” may choose to associate with others who understand the value in reciprocating the same.

Do you think of how your delay or absence might affect others productivity?

To those who give a ‘Heads Up”.  It’s appreciated.

Suzanne Breistol

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