As a part of the Park Scholarship program at NC State, I was constantly told, “if you are ten minutes early, you are on time; if you are on time, you are ten minutes late.” This mantra became my habit. Leaving the program, I expected the same to be true in the working world, but that simply has not been the case.
Time is a valuable resource, and it is imperative that people respect and recognize the importance of time. As a business owner, I have found the following tools to be helpful in promoting a timely culture:
Everyday Studio Operations
1. Emphasize Timeliness in Your Staff Handbook. “Always START and END class PROMPTLY. Right on time! We have students waiting to enter and parents waiting to leave. Let’s be known for our punctuality.”
2. Implement Digital, Atomic Clocks in the Lobby & Every Classroom. Our studio operates on digital, atomic clocks in the lobby and in each studio room. The entire studio runs on the same time, which is helpful in keeping the studio classrooms on a consistent schedule and allowing parents to know the exact ‘studio time’.
2. Promote Accountability. Encourage your staff to be accountable via constructive coaching. Encourage your parents to be accountable via explicit policies and procedure re: drop-off and pick-up.
1. Cushion Deadlines: If you are relying on other people to submit information or payments to you, cushion your deadline. That way, you are not scrambling at the last minute to acquire information or payments.
2. Set Checkpoints and Timelines: Implement checkpoints and timelines to stay on task with project goals.
3. Be a Role Model. Be early, be efficient, and set the standard for being on time. Have information prepared ahead in advance and be known for your commitment to punctuality and organization. Exceed expectations.
Remember, you have the opportunity to set the culture within your studio. Be a role model. If you set the standard for timeliness, it will trickle to your staff, parents, and students.