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    14 Replies Latest reply on Oct 27, 2008 10:21 AM by solushunz

    Dealing with difficult employees?

    FashionGal Wayfarer

      I just had to let an employee go for being incompetent & extremely difficult. This employee failed to open the store on time each day (I found this out from my customers that later complained to me) and some other issues, including anger management. I wish I saw the signs earlier on and did not wait so long. Anybody experience anything like that before?
        • Re: Dealing with difficult employees?
          LUCKIEST Guide
          That is the fun of being in business. How long have you been in business??
          And how many employees do you have.
          Suggestion - - Keep a log of the days and the issues and the reasons you let this employee go.
          Everybody likes to sue.
          Good luck, LUCKIEST
          • Re: Dealing with difficult employees?
            Lighthouse24 Ranger
            Yes, indeed . . . and if you have specific follow-up questions or concerns regarding any aspect of this situation, I'll be happy to share my thoughts and relevant experiences.
            • Re: Dealing with difficult employees?
              DomainDiva Ranger
              I actually had to dismiss someone I have known for 20+ years because of some personal issues that were not in line with the corporate philosophy. Love is love, business is business. The main point is to do what is right for the bottom line. I can just imagine how embarrassed you were when the customers complained.

              The customers that complained are the ones that care about your being there in the future.
              • Re: Dealing with difficult employees?
                SirJulioG Newbie
                Hello,

                I think that anyone reading this blog can agree that managing is the or if not near the most difficult part of small business. Getting people to do their job correctly (after being properly trained) and on time seems to be such a huge obstacle. I have my fair share of days when i can't believe some of the things i see going on and im guilty of sometimes letting things slide to just avoid animosity in the work space. I can understand that at a company like "CocaCola", "Apple" or BofA they don't have time for "personal problems" or nonsense behavior but if you really have a small business were you know everyone's first and last name then i think one needs to be more "flexible", not a push over just "flexible". Keep in mind when someone "fails" under your watch to an extend that means you "fail" in the sense that it puts your management skills to question. Although difficult employees are no joy they do have a value, its your hard employees that help you improve your management endurance skills. There are so many different aspects to managment that i could go on for ever but just keep in mind it's always easier to just fire someone than it is to get them to perform how you need them to.
                • Re: Dealing with difficult employees?
                  puzzleman Tracker

                  Having a disciplinary policy is a great tool to prevent things from getting bad. Several times I have had to terminate someone that I had a personal attachment to but if they can't help my business, then they are holding me back. The thing that makes it easier on my part and with the unemployment people is that I documented each violation with the person signing or at least reading and being informed of the write up.
                  I know writing up people is not fun but sometimes you can get their behavior to change which is the goal.
                  If it doesn't then they can't say you fired them for no reason.

                  I found sample disciplinary forms when googling for them. Just copied them and changed things to fit my personal taste.
                  • Re: Dealing with difficult employees?
                    babyjoy214 Adventurer
                    Hello!

                    My cousin works for our small time business, I don't like his performance and attitude towards work, he's been close to our family since he was a kid I guess, graduated with mechanical engineering but didn't pursue it, at his age he have never experienced work outside our business. What's more wrong is my parents wants to let go of him but won't because they think they're being too harsh.

                    Our store opens at 8, he arrives by 9, during working hours when you assign something to him, he'd pass it on to the ther co-worker, he won't go to work anytime he wants, whenever there's a big purchase by a customer and my dad needs all workers, he would always come up with an excuse not to come..

                    I know family is family, but business is business. Me and my brothers think we should let him go for his own good, he's already 35, he won't learn anything about life when he stays with us.. Still, my prents have decided no to let go.. I'm just sad..
                      • Re: Dealing with difficult employees?
                        Lighthouse24 Ranger

                        Babyjoy214, I can understand your disappointment. The problem you perceive is real, and the long term consequences of allowing it to continue will be costly. If the business has other employees, the best ones (including you or your brothers) will eventually get fed up and leave, the average ones will lose all respect for your parents (and resent your cousin), and the worst employees will be "protected" by the fact that they can slack off and still outperform "Cuz." The business will suffer, and as you noted, Cuz will never get the chance to become truly competent at something (and will be deprived of the experiences necessary to develop into a productive adult).

                        The fact that your parents are filling a dual role -- family "patriarchs" and business managers -- actually gives them twice the reason to offer Cuz some firm leadership and guidance. Family ties increase the obligation -- they don't provide an excuse to let things slide.

                        I hope your folks have a change of heart, and address this situation -- and I hope that both your family and your business grow stronger as a result. Best wishes!
                        • Re: Dealing with difficult employees?
                          puzzleman Tracker
                          Babyjoy, Tough love is the hardest love. Family friends of mine owned a hvac business and had financial problems and went bankrupt. There son, who has only worked for them and was kind of like what you talked about had to get a job from another company. This guy has done a 180 and has been promoted twice, cares about work and is enthusiastic about it.

                          Sometimes people don't know what they have until it is taken away. There is hope for your cuz but it's a scary decision and also realize that the cuz may become mad enough that he will not want associate with the rest of the family any more or for a while.

                          Jim
                            • Re: Dealing with difficult employees?
                              babyjoy214 Adventurer
                              Yup! I agree, there's that risk that he may dissociate himself with the family, but I believe on the later part he would realize that what we did was to help him help himself (hopefully!), if not, I guess it's fine that he be mad at us for the rest of his life, but still we will be happy for him seeing him stand in his own feet to survive.. ;)
                                • Re: Dealing with difficult employees?
                                  FCPainter Adventurer
                                  We had a SCORE counselor who was great and he gave us advice years ago that it is more important that your employees respect you than like you. Over the long term, he argued, the employees that don't respect you won't like you either. I suspect this is doubly true for family members who work for you.
                                    • Re: Dealing with difficult employees?
                                      babyjoy214 Adventurer
                                      Thanks! As I've said, we're still on the process of convincing my parents to let my Cuz go.. hehe.. I'll definitley remember what you said "it is more important that your employees respect you than like you" ;)
                                        • Re: Dealing with difficult employees?
                                          greg8160 Newbie
                                          Hello, I am a small business owner and have been in business since 1971. My company specializes in consulting other businesses with employee problems, unemployment claims, employer and employee training, how to hire and fire, and employer forms. Indoctination of an employee are the best way to ensure an employee to follow the rules, and to work, or they will get fired. My company is called Shaw Investigation & Research. We have worked with many companies across the U.S. Harman's KFC, Taco Bell, Automobile Dealers Association, and more. Harmans has been a client since 1971, and we have saved them over 200 million in that time in unemployment benefits they did not have to pay. If any companies need help with employee problems, unemployment claim problems, payroll, feel free to contact me at my website: http://sirweb.com/contact.php Thank You.

                                          Jerry Shaw
                                • Re: Dealing with difficult employees?
                                  solushunz Wayfarer
                                  I had similar experiences when managing for another company before launching our own venture. The lesson learned was to have a simple computer based employee login system. This would have alerted you earlier. I would not be too hard on myself, living above mediocrity is a daily challenge. One of our clients uses a system that timestamps employees. This can be incorporated for minimal cost to you. Best wishes as you move forward.