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Help me be a better boss


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#1 butterqueen

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 07:43 PM

Run a business as many of you know, have someone working for me who is really good, I like her, she actually does a great job. Has been there last 3 months or so and I have noticed that she tends to call off at least once a week. Definitely the last 6 weeks. Everything from "I got my period" to "stomach flu" to everything else....

what do I do? Have a talk? impose penalties? start looking for someone else?

When she is there, she is great, but if I'm worried she's not going to show up all the time, it's hard to count on her.

Any insight would be great.

#2 MeOmYo

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 07:45 PM

having a talk with her expressing your concerns would be the best start IMO. She needs to be made aware that it is unacceptable.

#3 unbroken_chain

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 07:46 PM

I thought this said help me be a butter boss :woot:

#4 Karen

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 07:47 PM

Have a talk, tell her your concerns. Hopefully that will work! Good luck.

#5 unbroken_chain

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 07:48 PM

Yep. Let her know... how much you appreciate her work when she is present, but chronic absenteeism is a huge problem and costs people their jobs. or so I've heard.

#6 SunshineDrummer

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 07:50 PM

If you're concerned, talk to her. Something to keep in mind...she may very well have something else going on in her life that she wishes to keep private, hence the uptick in calling out sick. I realize that her personal life isn't your concern... that you're running a business & need reliable employees. Just presenting another possiblity as I've seen it happen. She may not be a slacker, just in a rough spot at the moment.

But definitely talk to her, especially if you're pleased with her work & would like to keep her around.

#7 crazysage

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 07:53 PM

i would certainly talk to here, and express what you did here.
if it takes a turn for the worst then you dont want her anyway.

#8 Phishfolk

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 07:53 PM

If she has legitimate reasons for being out then I think the best thing to do is accommodate her or else you will lose her. If she is just blowing off work then you don't want her. I've missed a lot of work the last couple of months. I'm lucky my boss knows it was necessary because I had to take care of my kids...plus I had the time to take. Have a talk with her and see if there is something that can be worked out for the both of you if you want to keep her.

#9 butterqueen

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 07:54 PM

Should I go with a talk first and then do a formal letter? I have less than 5 employees so not really an HR person or whatever.

I am going to write up a policy on it, talk to her tomorrow and then if anything further happens, send a warning letter.

#10 butterqueen

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 07:56 PM

She is in her late 40s, has grown kids who have moved away, so no personal issues I know of. Just seems like every illness is a cause for staying home, and I think there is quite a bit of partying going on too.

#11 TEO

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 07:56 PM

Have a talk, tell her your concerns. Hopefully that will work! Good luck.


This. Communication, communication, communication and you might want to start looking for a replacement or turn the position into two part-time positions.

#12 butterqueen

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 07:58 PM

The only issue I have is some people are easy to communicate with, some people not so much. I've had it go south on me. I want her to know I'm serious and taking it serious....I guess if she blows up, she wasn't the right person to work there anyway.

#13 Phishfolk

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 07:59 PM

If you don't already have a policy written up I would do that before writing her a letter and then any letter you write would come on instances after you have a formal policy. A talk should be enough for now. When you do write your policy I would still have a discussion as the first step in any progressive discipline actions unless the act of the employee egregious and calls for more then a warning.

#14 SunshineDrummer

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 07:59 PM

She is in her late 40s, has grown kids who have moved away, so no personal issues I know of. Just seems like every illness is a cause for staying home, and I think there is quite a bit of partying going on too.


Talk to her. Your assumptions mat be right, in which case a reprimand would be warranted.

But if you have no written policies in place, you need to do that and quick. Doesn't matter if you have 5 employees or 500, you need an employee manual so everyone (including you) can be held accountable for their actions.

#15 hoagie

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 08:00 PM

Id let Andy handle it :wink:

#16 TEO

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 08:01 PM

Sounds like an employee at will situation with a small employer, no written manual necessary.

#17 Phishfolk

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 08:02 PM

She is in her late 40s, has grown kids who have moved away, so no personal issues I know of. Just seems like every illness is a cause for staying home, and I think there is quite a bit of partying going on too.


That is irrelevant, not your concern and not your business to be honest. But you were a lawyer so you already knew that :lol:

#18 MeOmYo

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 08:03 PM

I use an employee counseling form which states: Objective, Company Expectations, Work Performance Concerns, Corrective Action Plan and Timeline. I request they sign it but doesn't really make a difference if they refuse to (I sign it stating they refused to sign). Establishing a documentation trail will only help if you fire her and would like to refute her unemployment application.

#19 Phishfolk

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 08:03 PM

Sounds like an employee at will situation with a small employer, no written manual necessary.


Not necessary but you can still get caught up in a wrongful termination suit. Better to cover your bases.

#20 MeOmYo

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 08:04 PM

state laws vary, I'm not sure what they are in PA

#21 TEO

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 08:05 PM

Not necessary but you can still get caught up in a wrongful termination suit. Better to cover your bases.


Then I wouldn't want to dash off and use documents that were not professionally reviewed.

#22 TEO

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 08:05 PM

Establishing a documentation trail will only help if you fire her and would like to refute her unemployment application.


This.

#23 SunshineDrummer

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 08:06 PM

Sounds like an employee at will situation with a small employer, no written manual necessary.


I'm in an "employed at will" situation. You should see our employee handbook. You could crush small children with it.

It strikes me that having everything in writing can help avoid a lot of misunderstandings. You get hired, you're handed a manual, you read it, sign a statement that you've read & understand it and will comply, that goes in your personnel file. Done. Can save both sides a lot of potential grief.

#24 TEO

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 08:09 PM

I'm in an "employed at will" situation. You should see our employee handbook. You could crush small children with it.

It strikes me that having everything in writing can help avoid a lot of misunderstandings. You get hired, you're handed a manual, you read it, sign a statement that you've read & understand it and will comply, that goes in your personnel file. Done. Can save both sides a lot of potential grief.


Considering your type and geographical location of employment I do not at all find that surprising.

#25 gregoir

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 08:10 PM

I don't get how people miss that much work? I work for my dad and have called out 3 times in the last 3 years. When I taught I missed 1 day in 6 years and never called out sick.

#26 SunshineDrummer

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 08:13 PM

Considering your type and geographical location of employment I do not at all find that surprising.


True, which probably accounts for why mine is longer than War & Peace.

But its not so unusual anymore. Employee handbooks are becoming pretty much a standard no matter what the industry or size of the staff. Its basically a big CYA for everyone from the boss down. Everything is laid out in writing: responsibilities, expectations, consequences, procedures, etc. Personally, if I were ever to run my own business, I would definitely go this route. I think it can stop a lot of problems before they even start. Paper trails are important.

#27 TEO

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 08:19 PM

Understood, still not what I would choose at this point.

#28 PeaceFrog

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 08:21 PM

well if you want to be a better boss, then fire her.

If you want to be a better person, that's an entirely different question that you didn't ask.

#29 butterqueen

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 08:22 PM

I have been putting one together, an employee handbook that is.

Put me in the camp of "people miss that much work for illness?" I have to be bleeding out my eyes to take a real day off.

#30 Phishfolk

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 08:23 PM

Then I wouldn't want to dash off and use documents that were not professionally reviewed.

Definitely not.

#31 TEO

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 08:24 PM

Put me in the camp of "people miss that much work for illness?" I have to be bleeding out my eyes to take a real day off.


I used to be like that, then I realized that going to work half-dead wasn't beneficial for either party, nor was it going to get me a better spot in heaven.

#32 butterqueen

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 08:24 PM

When I mentioned her age, it was only to illustrate that she isn't like just out of college or something, new to working or whatever. Or a mom with small children, which lends itself to more illnesses for mom and the kids, of which I would be a bit more understanding.

#33 Phishfolk

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 08:24 PM

I've been working sick for a couple weeks now...but when my kids are sick I'm not sending them to school and someone has to be there.

#34 butterqueen

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 08:25 PM

I used to be like that, then I realized that going to work half-dead wasn't beneficial for either party, nor was it going to get me a better spot in heaven.


No I mean, if you're contagious, yes...stay home. But that doesn't happen every week, maybe twice a year. In which case, yes stay home. But so far it's migraines and stomach aches and scratchy throat etc.

#35 Phishfolk

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 08:27 PM

When I mentioned her age, it was only to illustrate that she isn't like just out of college or something, new to working or whatever. Or a mom with small children, which lends itself to more illnesses for mom and the kids, of which I would be a bit more understanding.


Don't state that to her because if you do that is legally discrimination based on age, marital and family status status.

#36 Phishfolk

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 08:31 PM

No I mean, if you're contagious, yes...stay home. But that doesn't happen every week, maybe twice a year. In which case, yes stay home. But so far it's migraines and stomach aches and scratchy throat etc.

Don't state that to her because if you do that is legally discrimination based on age, marital and family status status.


And I agree with you but that is my personal bias as a parent :lol:

#37 concert andy

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 08:50 PM

Id let Andy handle it :wink:


Wait what? I was all chilling ... :tv1:

#38 hoagie

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 09:01 PM

Tell the person to stop calling out, or you'll have to let them go.

Seems simple.

#39 tyedyedee

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 11:25 PM

maybe give her less hours to work? you can say "it seems that perhaps you have taken on too many hours because in reviewing your attendance, i see that it is a weekly occurrence. since i really need your shift covered, i want to give you a schedule that better suits your needs. how about if we go from 40 hours to 25 or 30?" and make sure you tell her what your expectations are regarding attendance and what the ramifications are if she keeps calling out sick.

i am a boss now too and i am now at the point where all the people i supervise are in some sort of a documentable problem or another :bang:
but you gotta take the good with the bad, i guess :dunno:

dont put up with it just cuz she is good *sometimes*
you need reliable employees and that means not only good workers, but that they show up!
good luck and let us know what you decide to do...

IMHO i would give her a "floating holiday" allowance so she feels like she has options
say "you have 1 floating holiday every 2 months and you must tell me about it at least 2 days in advance" or something to that effect

#40 Tans

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 05:00 AM

Holy fuck! Is this real?

If he/she isn't doing the job you can get another person. Is it worth it to you to teach someone else?

What is best for your business?

peace!

#41 PeaceFrog

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 10:43 AM

seriously, no boss has ever treated me with this much kindness. If it weren't becoming a problem for you, then I'd say hey! good for her. She found a perfect fit in a job for her lifestyle.

However, if it's stifling productivity at the office, then you have to cut your losses and do what's best for the company.

I'm not a good boss, however... but yeah, that's what a "good" boss would do (from the perspective of the company, not the employee)

From the employee's perspective, a "good" boss would let her take off as many days as she wants and still pay her for it.

If the company were bigger, you might have the flexibility to be more accommodating with her schedule... however, it doesn't sound as though that could be the case.

#42 u.s.blues

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 02:07 PM

i would talk to her first. honestly tell her your concerns and then go from her response and ability to correct the situation.

#43 Roasted and Toasted

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 03:20 PM

As previously stated, communicate your concerns and expectations in no uncertain terms to the employee.
After this you must do what is right for your business. Reliable and responsible employees are the only type you can afford to keep.

#44 Luvsdaizies

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 07:25 PM

i love tyedyedee's perspective. It sounds like she wants to be responsible to work less wether that is for a good (emotional or health reason) or if its for partying. Either way - when you are there you are expected to be here 100% - when you arent, im not paying you - so if you want to be here less, take less hours and ill spend less money.

At the same time - I AM LUCKY to work somewhere that is compassionate and understanding when it comes to taking time off, sick days, wellness days ect.

#45 PeaceFrog

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 12:27 AM

I think everyone should have the freedom to work as little or as much as they want. Anything else is indentured servantry.

#46 HABIT

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 12:54 AM

maybe you should give her more responsibility if she feels that she can do her job in 4 days rather than 5 then that might be the problem.

#47 Wende

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 11:21 AM

Tell the person to stop calling out, or you'll have to let them go.

Seems simple.


yup!

And absolutely you should have an employee handbook. ours is pretty big too. But like SD said, it covers a lot of basis and it was the first thing I would do when I'd hire someone. "Here ya go, read this, we'll pay you for the time it takes you to read it, and then sign this and then...let's get it on! "

#48 hoagie

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 12:18 PM

Personally, id just start looking for someone with a better work ethic, maybe someone a tad younger and "hungrier" so to speak, and let this other one go. Then u have a better employee, and little if any confrontation. I feel you really are too nice to put your foot down, so here is an alternative idea.

#49 Wende

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 02:08 PM

Yea, I would just cut her hours in half. Tell her why and tell her she can have hours back if she stops leaving you hanging. That's a shitty thing to do. Call in all the time. But they're going to keep doing it if they can....

#50 hoagie

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 03:05 PM

This is no to time to be nice. Its the frickin holidays...