sylvain courcoux

internet entrepreneur

my blog

This is an answer I wrote on OnStartup, here is the link to the original page.

How do I motivate someone who values his time significantly more than money to come to work on time?

I'm looking for a strategy to negotiate punctuality with an employee who is quite skilled. However, I fear that docking his pay may not have an impact because he values his own time more highly than the potential cost of coming to work late. I have considered giving him the boot, but it seems too soon to take that course of action.
My answer:
Is the problem that he is just coming in late and that you like punctuality (in which case YOU should consider adapting) or does his coming late make a difference in the overall output?
Plenty of people think things should be done a certain way and expect others to do it that way. That's unfortunate because a) it may not be the best way and b) may be the person would be less productive doing it another way than their way.
Put the situation in context. Does his work involve teamwork where people interact often, in which case punctuality is important?
I measure work in 3 ways. 1) a person must have spent time doing it (ie, no copy-paste, last minute fluff), 2) there must be some sort of visible transformation (you should be able to visually see the output), 3) it must be usable by others (ie otherwise it's just a hobby or a feel-good).
So if the person produces work and, assuming the context doesn't involve lots of teamwork, why would you want to alienate someone with skills???? People often try to change others; it never works. Try to help others better understand themselves. In a start-up, go for skills; the rest is just politics.
answered Feb 20 '12 at 0:20