View Full Version : How many times do you give someone "another chance"?

02-25-2014, 10:01 AM
How would you handle a situation where the employee is excellent but cant seem to stay off their phone? Or an employee who is abusing the smoke breaks to sit outside for 20 mins and still take a lunch after. What about the people you have already warned and they just dont seem to get it and are still late by 6-7 mins daily?

02-25-2014, 11:43 AM
I would definitely deal with it promptly, because it sounds like those employees are taking advantage of your generosity. I would tell them the consequences for their actions and if they don't abide by the rules, then let them go. There are good people out there that need jobs and will be more respectful with your time.

02-25-2014, 12:12 PM
I would give someone only one second chance. If they blow it after that, I would be hard on the problem and just fire the person.
Especially when they do the same thing twice.

02-25-2014, 08:08 PM
I guess it depends. If they're good for the most part but have a few quirks, I would try cutting their hours or something like that. Enough to prove a point without firing them. If they're overall a jerk-off employee, though, it's probably best to let them go.

02-26-2014, 04:51 AM
If it's an issue of arriving late just make it mandatory that any employee who arrives late or takes time off will have to compensate for that at the end of the day. That would effectively deal with late-comers and 'time-thieves.'

For the rest, you'll need to call for a meeting of all employees and spell out the regulations which should be observed by all employees and the consequences of disobedience. If the employee still persists in their 'bad habit' after this then you have every right to fire them.

02-26-2014, 02:05 PM
Depends on what job that employee performs and how good he does it. Personally I have no issues with people talking on the phone or using Facebook as long as the job is done properly and business is not affected. If they are excellent and have above average results I don't see the point of enforcing the rules to the letter. Sure, there are some issues with the other employees that want the same perks.

Now, if the employee has a less than desirable performance such excesses (like longer breaks) are gonna be punished and the rules enforced by either cutting the breaks or other benefits.

02-26-2014, 04:15 PM
Tell him next time is the last, if he does it again, look at him i nthe eye seriously and tell him I am serious about it, last time...

Next time ,fire him.

02-26-2014, 04:50 PM
You need to make sure your employees are always aware that you aren't some metaphorical door mat. Even employees who do an outstanding job cannot be given leeway on certain policies just for the simple fact that other employees will see this and assume that they too are able to walk across the mat. Be polite, but be firm. I typically would never allow for more than 2-3 of these instances depending on their efficiency.

02-26-2014, 05:13 PM
Where to draw the line depends a lot on the nature of the infraction and the nature of the job being done. If my job is to deal with customers walking in the front door and there is no one to deal with, then being on Facebook is probably not a big deal. If I am supposed to be typing up documents and I am on Facebook instead, that is a big deal.
I would suggest you set a policy, let your employees know the policy, and follow through with the consequences. I would not put a lot of weight on the employee's performance as it can create a situation where two people commit the same infraction, but one gets worse treatment.

02-27-2014, 02:42 AM
Well it depends on the input of the employee. if they are of course you will be hesitant to fire them but as soon as you find their their replacements then show them the door. 5 warnings are enough.

02-28-2014, 02:29 AM
In general, I would allow the person two strikes just because I understand that people need second chances. On the third time, I would be highly skeptical that the person will ever change or if he or she even wants to. However, if the employee still is able to deliver on his or her role and work load, then I might be a lot more forgiving and let it slide especially if they are just bending minor rules anyway. I personally would rather deal with this by individual case since not all employees are the same and I will try to tailor my rules as well as I can to allow them to do the work they need to do the way they best can do it - to a certain extent.

02-28-2014, 05:49 PM
I'd say give an employee as many chances as you can give with a happy heart. That is to say, you aren't holding a grudge or expecting that the situation will never change---you expect that the future will be positive now that you've made a course correction to this person. If you can't do that, it's better for you and for them to part ways, and you should always do this before you've become angry at them and allowed it to cloud your judgement.

02-28-2014, 08:44 PM
Usually 3 strikes and you're out. But it does definitely depend on the severity of the problem. If it's something small then a second chance will be fine, but a person showing up late everyday is poor and that person should have been notified that if they want to keep up the job they show up on time.

Jane Hastings
03-26-2014, 12:30 AM
Put your foot down and tell them straight in the eye everything you want to tell them. It sounds like they are taking advantage of your kindness and generosity. If they are important to the company and you don't want to fire them then you should set new rules for them and make sure they follow it. Talk to them and if they keep doing it and they don't want to change then you should let them go. I hope everything works out for you. :)

wandering wildman
03-26-2014, 02:29 AM
Try to get a better understanding of the employee. If they are abusing break times, it is my suspicion that they might not have much of a connection with you as an employer. I think you have to find out what motivates them. The risk of just giving them a stern talking to is that they will probably just continue down that road. However, you could have an opportunity to create a much more motivated employee.

03-27-2014, 05:15 AM
How would you handle a situation where the employee is excellent but cant seem to stay off their phone? Or an employee who is abusing the smoke breaks to sit outside for 20 mins and still take a lunch after. What about the people you have already warned and they just dont seem to get it and are still late by 6-7 mins daily?

There are breaks in the rules that require firing, and there are breaks in the rules that require discipline. Stealing is a "fire me" issue, but an "excellent employee" can have their cell phone handed to you until they get off of work, or a payphone installed (with extra high rates) if a landline is what they are talking on. The tardiness issue can be addressed with an incentive program for timeliness. It doesn't have to be a monetary reward, it could be movie tickets, or something else based on your work environment.

03-27-2014, 05:59 AM
If for an employee, 3 warnings. 3 chances. - it is in the provisions of their contract.
If for a friend, 100 warnings. 100 chances. - it will depend on the length of friendship and the number of good memories we've had.
If for a relative, 50 warnings. 50 chances. - sometimes, relatives are stubborn than friends, but blood is thicker than water.. sometimes.
If for a family, lifetime. - if things get bad to yourself, your family will never leave you... so do vice versa.

03-27-2014, 09:26 AM
It really depends on the nature and degree of the offense.

If it is minor things such as those mentioned in the OP (personal calls running too long, breaks going on to long, etc.), I would give a "straighten up and fly right" speech and make it clear it stops. That said, another warning afterwards to remind the to stay on the right track is fine. If it becomes chronic, a dismissal may be in order.

If it was a major screw up the hurt the business, that is another issue. Some can be a learning experience and it would be their only warning. Others, it would be an instant removal. I've seen some great employees screw up and turn it around later. Others it was pretty much par for the course.

03-28-2014, 02:44 PM
Sounds like employees like this are taking advantage of the system, or as my mother would say, "you give them an inch and they take a mile." I agree this needs to be dealt with promptly. Your employees need to know you will not tolerate that kind of behavior in the workplace, and there will be consequences. A rule is a rule, whether it's about cell phones, lunch breaks, eating in front of customers, etc. After a verbal warning is given about something, if the person refuses to comply the next step is an official "write-up" to put in their work file. I know some companies give 3 times written up for the same thing before terminating the employee, others will only give them a verbal warning and one time written up before they are considering firing them. Depending on the frequency of the offense, I think this is up to the boss to decide.

Don't forget, if someone is constantly being rude or deliberately oblivious to the company rules, they aren't good employees. Even if they pump out amazing work, there's always someone else you can hire and train in their place who will NOT give you the headache and annoyance of disrespecting your company rules.

03-28-2014, 03:57 PM
Yeah, you shouldn't let your employees take advantage of your understanding. Which in turn may turn small "mistakes" into habitual mistakes.
On the other hand, you shouldn't also act like a pit boss with a gun in his hand, causing fear in them.

In my opinion, open communication goes a long way in such conflicts.
What you think is against a previous talk you had given might just be because of the other person misunderstanding you rather than killing his second chance.

03-28-2014, 04:58 PM
How would you handle a situation where the employee is excellent but cant seem to stay off their phone? Or an employee who is abusing the smoke breaks to sit outside for 20 mins and still take a lunch after. What about the people you have already warned and they just dont seem to get it and are still late by 6-7 mins daily?

Sometimes it's also good to look within and ask whether your management style is allowing such things to happen. Have you made your expectations crystal clear with your employees? Why is it that your "excellent" employee(s) seems to be undermining your authority? Is it because you have lost respect from them? If so, how do you earn back their respect? Anyways, some questions for you to ponder about.

Good Luck!

03-28-2014, 05:40 PM
Just once! The first chance he used up and he can be given another one!

04-04-2014, 06:38 PM
I would give--and do give--one verbal warning, then a written and then the employee is out the door. I understand stuff happens, trains run late, traffic is heavier than usual, some times people are having a bad day and just can't get it together. But I think it's important to deliver the message that the employees behavior is unacceptable quickly and firmly, you don't want other employees who do what is expected of them to begin resentful. Additionally, as other posters have said, there are plenty of people looking for work who will do what is expected of them and more.

04-04-2014, 11:44 PM
I follow the three-strikes-you're-out rule. No one is irreplaceable; there is always a more talented, more hardworking person out there. Should your current employee not act as he/she is expected to do, you have every right, as an employer or human resource manager to find solutions for your business. If that includes terminating people, so be it. Make your employee understand that his termination is not done out of spite, but out of love for the business.

Aside from reprimanding the employee over his bad behavior, however, you should also try to see why the employee is acting the way he does. If he is spending more time for coffee breaks than usual, he could be facing some stressful times. Check his workload: if it's too heavy for one employee to do, assign someone to help him. Some people tend to work better when surrounded by other people or with a partner. An employee's poor performance may also reflect a manager's failure to discipline his team. Managers are called managers for a reason-- they manage operations and people.

04-05-2014, 12:21 AM
I would call for a mandatory meeting for everyone and lay out the rules. Let them know you are watching and documenting the problems. After do many times of getting caught, you will do a write up or firing.

04-05-2014, 01:57 AM
Three chances is all I gave. The first one, I ensured that such people came aware that I was around and taking a note of their action. The Second one, I ask them about the problem and tell them to fix it at their end. The third is the warning and the foruth is me handing them termination letter or even a demotion letter.

As a manager, and team lead, I have to be stern on them so that the entire team delivers quality and on time. At the same time, it is again my responsibility to ensure that such things do not spread amongst the team members.

04-05-2014, 04:11 AM
You can fire them according to your tolerance level. If you can tolerate people like those you've mentioned fine, but if it gets out of hand I would sure fire someone of course for a reasonable and justifiable cause.

04-12-2014, 08:54 AM
Well in my case my boss is like "I want the work to be done, no matter how you do it". So I think in some cases it depends what kind of work your employee is given to and actually how much time is needed. If he can do it in an hour then why bother he is not working for the whole day or smoking or talking over the phones?

04-14-2014, 04:17 PM
Depends on the rules. I try not to put rules in place that make no sense and give leeway to employees who are putting in more than they are meant to. However, when required we do 1 verbal and 1 written and that's it.

04-17-2014, 04:48 AM
You don't get respect just because you are the employer and they are the employees. Respect is earned. If you see too many problems in the work place you need to correct them by leading by example. Anyone who has run a business knows that it is not easy to find decent and capable workers. If you start sacking people for this and that you will have a real problem in your hand. If someone is being late but there is no problem with the work he/she do, I would make a point of being there and greeting that person when he/she arrives late. The message is simple; if I can come in time so should you.

Talk to your staff and tell them the problems. For example, if a senior member is abusing smoking, you should talk to them and say that they are being bad examples to other people. At the end of the day, it all boils down to them getting the work done. For example, if my chef is coming to work, first going through the orders, menu, rota and what else needs to be done and put the things that need to be cooked in the oven, I wouldn't have much of an issue with him taking a smoking break. But I would have serious issues with someone who is taking a smoking break when tons of work still needs to be done.

You should always keep your business before your feelings. The real problems are when people start screwing with the work they do. Again, in the example of a chef, if the orders are not coming out in a timely manner, the food is cold before it leaves the kitchen, general hygiene and food quality are poor you need to step in and tell them that they cannot last long if this carries on. One dissatisfied customer is probably never coming back. This is your priority.

05-16-2014, 07:16 AM
If you think that any person deserves a second chance, then you should provide him / her with one. As an employer you should be able to foresee the consequences of providing a second chance to anyone.

10-06-2015, 04:28 AM
I think 3 warnings are enough.

10-09-2015, 08:08 PM
The short and sweet answer is you need to have a clearly defined policy for these things that all employees are aware of. How does it start? Where does it end up? Verbal warning, written warning, termination- that's the usual 3 strike rule. If you don't have an employee handbook I strongly suggest creating one but be aware- they can wind up being legally binding.

As far as phones and Facebook and such is concerned... this is such a sticky area. I will say this: Of course no business owner wants their employees playing Angry Birds or goofing off on Facebook while on the clock but to a certain extent I think in this day and age you kind of have to allow for a small amount of that to happen because I think that no matter what you do it's going to happen anyway especially if you're talking about the kind of business where they're sitting at a desk in front of a computer all day long. I'm guilty of doing it as well and I'd wager we all kind of are to some degree or another.

One way I've seen companies circumvent this a LITTLE bit is to put certain employees in charge of company social media accounts- Twitter, Facebook, etc. with the mandate that they can spend some time working on them during downtime throughout the day. This can help scratch that itch a bit for employees who need a break from staring at numbers and reports all day while still technically working. Of course you need to be clear about your social media practices and policies as well but it can be a welcome break from the aforementioned busy work.

12-13-2015, 07:35 AM
I wold talk to them one on one as this may reveal information about what is going on that is not obvious. For instance, if they are showing up late a few minutes, they may be having child care issues at home. A baby sitter may be showing up late causing them to leave a little later and then hitting traffic or something may be going on with daycare.... A number of personal things can affect a persons ability to show up on time. As a business owner, you can treat them the way you would like to be treated. Perhaps you can adjust that persons schedule to accommodate them. Or ask them to take 30 minutes for lunch instead of 60 to help. Maybe one day a week they can work an hour or two extra to make up the time if it works with their schedule. There are a number of creative solutions to accommodate both employer and employee.

As for spending time on non work related things during the day. You may have a good employee that doesn't know that they can ask for more responsibilities or is not assertive enough to ask. If they have extra time during the day, it may be a good opportunity to take on extra responsibilities that would allow them to stand out int he company. This can lead to moving up in the company quicker or even possibly being compensated with bonuses.

If they really don't have a reason for showing up late or leaving early and they waste time on the web and you have already talked to them a number of times, it may be good to have them sign something that acknowledges that the two of you have spoken about what was going on and also have it in writing what will happen if the behavior continues.

Malik Suleman
12-28-2015, 02:16 PM
everyone isn't perfect i chooses to give them ore than anyone