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When an employee can’t get to work on time


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I got a call the other day from a fellow shop owner who was frustrated over his tech arriving late just about every day. He said that this is his best tech and will actually stay late if needed to finish the work. He has tried to talk to the tech, but nothing helps. He does not want to fire the tech but does not know how to solve the problem. This shop owner has two other techs that do arrive on time each day.

 

Here’s my opinion; this tech will eventually destroy shop morale and affect sales. You can’t have two sets of rules. And, not matter how much this shop owner says that the tech will work late, I will bet that he is killing productivity. I would use the three strike rule. Tell the tech that he no longer can arrive late. Give him a written letter that states that the company will no longer tolerate lateness. From this point on, he job will be terminating after the third consecutive lateness. That’s it, great tech or no great tech…gone!

 

Agree, disagree, not sure? Let me know how you feel.

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It would depend upon what motivates the tech. How about cutting pay or charging when late? You are right that it will kill morale if one tech has one set of rules and the rest have another set. That killed the morale where I use to work. It wasn't the different rules, it was the politics of one tech getting all the gravy and the rest having to follow up after him and fix his crap. It's still that way 2 yrs after I left.

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A few years ago I had a similar problem with repeated warnings. Finally, one morning the guys wife called in to say he was running late and I told her to tell him not to bother. That was that. Fortunately, he was not a really good tech.

 

I had a similiar story, but this tech was good. I hated to let him go, but life goes on and we survived. It's not that I don't worry about losing a great tech, but if the tech stays, what will that do to my business due to bad morale and hard feelings among the other employees?

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I had a similiar story, but this tech was good. I hated to let him go, but life goes on and we survived. It's not that I don't worry about losing a great tech, but if the tech stays, what will that do to my business due to bad morale and hard feelings among the other employees?

I've had similar problems with techs. Some ... when they do call in late for the 3rd or 4th time... I tell them not to bother coming in at all... but I reserve that for the bad ones. The good techs.. well, I won't assign them work... If you come in late... you get nothing. Eventually they either get the idea or they quit.

 

My worst offenders of this whole thing has always been the interns... I ended up handling them this way.... first off they are usually college or high school students... keep that in mind too. What I do is stand by their work area at exactly the start of the day... IF you are not there ON TIME... then GO HOME... all day. Until you can make it in the real world at the real time... you don't need this job. I'll usually play this game thru their entire internship... then when it's grading time it will show on thier report card.

 

It's worked in the past... hope this helps. Gonzo

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I've had similar problems with techs. Some ... when they do call in late for the 3rd or 4th time... I tell them not to bother coming in at all... but I reserve that for the bad ones. The good techs.. well, I won't assign them work... If you come in late... you get nothing. Eventually they either get the idea or they quit.

 

My worst offenders of this whole thing has always been the interns... I ended up handling them this way.... first off they are usually college or high school students... keep that in mind too. What I do is stand by their work area at exactly the start of the day... IF you are not there ON TIME... then GO HOME... all day. Until you can make it in the real world at the real time... you don't need this job. I'll usually play this game thru their entire internship... then when it's grading time it will show on thier report card.

 

It's worked in the past... hope this helps. Gonzo

 

At least with interns you stand a chance of making a difference, but when a 35 year old still has an issue with coming in on time, I think its too late.

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  • 1 month later...

Ahhh one of the benefits of running a one man shop..... The shop I was at before going out on my own it was a constant problem. One tech I ended up changing his hours instead of 8 to 4:30 I gave him new hours, 9 to 4:30. Which amounted to less money for him at the end of the week. He did make it in by 9 and the other techs referred to his walk across the parking lot to the shop at 9 every morning to his walk of shame as he came in. Had it turned into a problem with other employees he would have been let go. The only thing that saved him was the hard time we had finding anyone worth hiring. What I could never figure out is how come the guy that lives an hour away shows up on time every day rain show or shine, but the guy that lives a mile away on the same street is always the late one?

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Ahhh one of the benefits of running a one man shop..... The shop I was at before going out on my own it was a constant problem. One tech I ended up changing his hours instead of 8 to 4:30 I gave him new hours, 9 to 4:30. Which amounted to less money for him at the end of the week. He did make it in by 9 and the other techs referred to his walk across the parking lot to the shop at 9 every morning to his walk of shame as he came in. Had it turned into a problem with other employees he would have been let go. The only thing that saved him was the hard time we had finding anyone worth hiring. What I could never figure out is how come the guy that lives an hour away shows up on time every day rain show or shine, but the guy that lives a mile away on the same street is always the late one?

 

I don't believe in having different rules for different people. The same thing happened in my shop; A tech wanted to start at 9:00 because he said he could not get up early. I explained to him that he knew the start time when he was hired and it should not be an issue. I also told him that it would affect morale if I allowed him to come it late.

 

After battling with a few months, I let him go. He was a good tech, but when I look back, I made the right decesion.

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All businesses seem to have this problem with all types of employees with 30 somethings. First, speak to him/her about the tardiness. He may have mitigating problems. Since in my primary business, I deal with mostly women, I have learned ask questions. Most common problem is taking kids to school in the morning. With this problem, I allow them to come in late and take a 30 min. lunch to make up for the tardiness. Failing this, I would start progressive discipline to get rid of him. Don't allow this situation to continue or as others have written, it will cause problems with the other employees. Good luck.

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Welcoem to the forum! Sometimes one can get away with things where it is all family.

 

 

Sometimes I wish I'd fire myself... but then Monday morning rolls around and I have to fill out that employment application thing again.... then the interview, then the trial period...

 

Well, I'm here... might as well stay....

 

I guess I'll stick around for that gold watch...

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I don’t remember lateness being problem years ago. Maybe I’m getting old, but I remember a more responsible work force. Sure, you always had the expectation, but the majority of people knew there were a set of rules and they stuck to them.

 

I think this lateness is at epidemic levels and part of the reason may be the enormous amount of obligations people have with their lives today. But regardless of what the reason is, lateness kills productivity, costs this industry valuable dollars and should not be tolerated.

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I don't remember lateness being problem years ago. Maybe I'm getting old, but I remember a more responsible work force. Sure, you always had the expectation, but the majority of people knew there were a set of rules and they stuck to them.

 

I think this lateness is at epidemic levels and part of the reason may be the enormous amount of obligations people have with their lives today. But regardless of what the reason is, lateness kills productivity, costs this industry valuable dollars and should not be tolerated.

 

 

Hi Joe, I think you're right in every case.... especially the old part.. LOL

You know one thing I did find... back when I had a lot of employees ... is the one time I had a guy who would leave during the day because of some ... stupid... made up emergency... (I'm sure of it) What he would do is leave a job half done... and then the next day he wouldn't show up... then somebody would have to finish it. It turned out .... he didn't know how to do that paticular job, and he would come back later to find out what we did to make the repair.

 

He didnt' last long...

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Hi Joe, I think you're right in every case.... especially the old part.. LOL

You know one thing I did find... back when I had a lot of employees ... is the one time I had a guy who would leave during the day because of some ... stupid... made up emergency... (I'm sure of it) What he would do is leave a job half done... and then the next day he wouldn't show up... then somebody would have to finish it. It turned out .... he didn't know how to do that paticular job, and he would come back later to find out what we did to make the repair.

 

He didnt' last long...

 

If a tech makes up a phony excuse to leave early because he can't complete a job, he is in the wrong business. No one can know everything...you ask for help. Even after 38 years in the business, I know enough to understand my limitations.

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  • 2 months later...

I agree and all of us know what should be done, but that doesn't mean it is done correctly. We have an European Tech that has a photgraphic mind and is really good and very fast. Yes, he is always late, doesn't follow rules and always has some hurt. Yes, I know what should be done. We pay much better than most shops, but finding a good European tech is really hard. Just so you know, I put an ad in today.

 

Believe me; we all know how valuable a talented tech is. And, sometimes we make allowances because of that. How do the other employees feel? That will become an issue. Sometimes, others may not tell you, but it is affecting their morale and that may be hurting productivity.

 

I am not preaching to you or anyone, I would be the first to tell you I have my share of mistakes with regard to employees and policy. I just want to understand the mindset of the employee and how they can sometimes hold the boss hostage.

 

If that Euro tech wasn't any good, you would have gotten rid of him long ago...right?

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