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Dear Team, This is Meenakshi and i just wish to have advice of experts regarding staff behaviour issues. As our office starting time is 9 am till 5:30 pm. But our office opens at 8:30 am as our office assistant and cleaning lady comes at 8:30 am to clean the office. Now the problem is our employees are coming at 9 am but then they go to the washroom, then they start settling their properties like Bags, filling water bottles, Helmets and then we have morning prayer at 9:05 am for 8 mins to fresh up their minds. But employees are not taking it seriously. I mean they actually start their work at 9:45 am. They 45 mins to settle down.
Please guide how should i tackle this situation without disturbing them. Because whenever i make any policy they are ready with 100 tricks to break that policy. Kindly suggest some policy which they can't break.

From India, Pune
How do the HODs react to this situation?
Policy which involves the staff need full approval and backing of top brass.
Consult them before issuing any policy and then give feedback about result on ground.
Productivity targets are the responsibility of HOD.
Are laid down targets being achieved?
HR needs to tread carefully on these issues.
Some customs have set in over years and is not easy to change w/o full involvement and direct support by the top brass.So accordingly inform, discuss and then take action the nature of action also needs specific clearance of top brass.

From India, Pune
Ask your management to put the login time on their respective computers which should include the tasks they are supposed to do at that time/day. I am talking of a typical IT office though this may not be applicable if it is otherwise. When it comes to review it can be seen what kind of work has been entrusted and completed in full and on time and what is not. You cannot go after the staff and ask them to start their work etc in this age. It is the responsibility of the individual to be disciplined and work without unnecessary waste of time but at the same time some leverage has to be given for the staff to chit-chat once in a while. It will help in taking off the stress of the work and also solve issues when they discuss with others. End of the day all the employees are responsible for their work and that is what matters most and not just sitting on time and to be seen as 'working'. It is like feeling happy to see a child with the book irrespective of whether the child is going through the subject or just staring at it. Be flexible but make sure that work counts along with discipline. Better not to make fuss for trivial issues and allow some independence so long as it is within the limits.
From India, Hyderabad
Thank You Mr. Nathrao for your expert advice.
But the problem is Hod is also not able to tackle this situation.
Can i issue a notice saying whosoever wants to get fresh and wants to settle down, they have to come at 8:45 am. Once you enter at 9 am you cannot go to the washrooms and cannot keep on gossping . Anyone found bypassing the rules will be liable for disciplinary actions (i.e his Half day leave will be consumed)
Can i issue this notice or other changes are to be required.
Meenakshi Kiran.

From India, Pune
Dear Meenakshi,
Let me share my views about your company's culture as you stated above. Firstly, your company have morning prayers to fresh-up employees minds for 8 minutes, a great initiative to let the employees leave aside their personal problems and start afresh day at production.
On the other side, you are planning to send a notice with strict timings about " Once you enter at 9 am you cannot go to the washrooms and cannot keep on gossping"
These are two different and two extreme cultures. Am not sure about your industry, business operations and even the company.
Is it possible to remove the prayer timings and ask employees to refresh in 10 minutes?
If your's is IT company, you should know that in reality the employees are actually productive for just 4 hours per day. And it's common that many companies allow a buffer time for employees before and after shift, say 15 minutes.
Before you send the notification, please analyse why you are so stringent on this timings. Once they are on seat at 9:45 AM can you ensure that, they all are productive till 5:30 PM? How does your business operates (call center or customer support and is this peak time?). Can the shift timings be modified per the business requirement?
In today's business environment, you should consider lot of factors before you make any policies. Consider the age group of your employees, are they Gen Z? Don't put too much of unnecessary and unwanted rules, it won't create a positive work environment.
There should be metrics and time management, this should be framed on par with business objectives and people orientation too.
Not sure, if my points are any helpful to you. However, my only view is that, HR should create a great work environment which will lead employees to achieve the business goals.
PS: Dear seniors, if you have different view on my opinion please comment.

From India, Bengaluru
Need to have discussion with all HODs as a group and obtain ideas, thoughts and plan.Have a balanced plan in your mind considering age group, nature of work being done, productivity of employees as a whole.
Go well prepared with as many inputs possible and chalk out an action plan.
If HODs are unable themselves, mere issuance of circulars can have no impact.
Culture is set in and changes to working culture takes time and concerted action from all concerned and impetus should be from the bosses and senior employees.

From India, Pune
You are seeking radical shift in organisational culture, but changing the organisational culture is always not an easy task, particularly when there is no immediate need for the change and the prayer ritual, it appears is not shared by all, at least to the desired extent. The last and the least acceptable way would be issue an office circular threatening disciplinary action. Such a desired change can be brought about only by the willing involvement of the employees and the entire enacting to be role models and driving the change. Unless these are ensured, there would be a lot of resentment and vitiate the atmosphere. Religion and prayers, you may realize are personal matters and each one has his perception about it and some would not like to make a display about it.
You may consider a step by step approach, first by making employees to resume work by 09.00 am for which you may consider some coercive steps and so also incentives (carrot & stick). Thereafter you may introduce prayer element, by say putting mantras or prayer songs through the public address system or speakers.

From India, Mumbai
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