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    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.


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    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.


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    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.


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    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.


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    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.


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    Quote Originally Posted by earthmama1 View Post
    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.


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    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.


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    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.


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    "The business of America is business."—Calvin Coolidge
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    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.


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    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.


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