If you read my post from last week you will see the 12 steps of professionalism that I think are important to becoming a professional driver. The steps also relate to anyone dealing with customers, coworkers, etc. Life on the road can be downright stressful to say the least, people who can’t drive or delays at companies, busy city centres and the like. Patience is critical to survival in the transportation industry. I am not sure who told certain drivers that if you yell, scream, and jump up and down you will get loaded faster, but that is common place on many docks across the country. So how do you handle the pressure of a delay?
First know what your policy is for delays. If you’re a driver do you know at what point your company starts to charge clients for delays? At what point is a co-worker, not replying back to a project detail causing your productivity to suffer? Most of us hound someone to get the results desired, but that doesn’t help team spirit, work relationships, or get that task finished to the standards required. First take a deep breath and remain calm. Educate the person on the importance of completing the task and that at a certain point the company will start charging for the delay. If that doesn’t start moving things any faster send them another reminder and inform your supervisor of the delay and the former discussion with the person involved. After that keep an eye on your time, move on with another project and make sure you note when the task was completed so you can inform your supervisor. Make sure to take down details of the person involved or department and any other particulars. Now I must stress that you don’t get hostile during this process, but keep your cool and explain that you have a job to do. The reason that it is important to document the situation is to give the company back up in order to either fix the delay or get compensated for the delay. I hear a lot of people complain about delays, but when you ask them specifics of the delay they can’t remember. Better yet is they complain to the boss but don’t have any particulars to back up their claim. If that’s the case it may as well not even happened. When I am managing projects from clients I mark down dates that they reply. It helps me gauge length of times for project estimates, but more important is when they come back to tell me the project took too long I can pull out a file showing the approval process and how long it took them to reply and so on.
Don’t let your productivity suffer because of someone else’s situation. Take ownership of your position.
About the Author
Bruce Outridge is a leadership consultant specializing in the transportation industry. More information on Bruce can be found at http://www.outridge.ca