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Absenteeism/Tardiness

Here are the questions filed under this category. To read Ken's advice on any item, click on the link "Read Ken's Answer."


I just completed a counseling session with one of my employees because he has been late several times, and our policy calls for a formal discussion and documentation when this occurs. When I finished the session, he got to the door and made a nasty remark under his breath. When I asked what he said, he denied saying anything. I did not write him up for that, but maybe I should have. What do you think?
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I manage a department of professionals and provide them with a good deal of flexibility. If they need time off for personal business, they can take it. There is a problem with one employee who is excellent when she is here, but she misses too much work because she always has personal matters to tend to. How should I deal with her?
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Several of us were sitting at lunch talking about salaries around here when our manager walked by, heard what we were talking about, and got all upset and said we will be disciplined if we continue. Can she do this?
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How do you deal with an employee who is late almost all the time, but does very good work when she is here? I've tried coaching and discipline, but she just does not improve.
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Can you please give me information regarding the state of 4-day workweeks for office workers? Besides reducing smog, what advantages do they have?
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I have an employee who is late at least three days a week, usually by ten or twenty minutes. I have spoken to him about this on numerous occasions, and he says he will try to improve, and for a week or two he does, but then he's late again. Now when I meet with him, he says the problem is that the company should have a flextime plan. What do you think?
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We have a very good employee, and he referred his brother to us. We did our usual screening, and then we hired him. It turns out that he is very different from his brother. His work is sloppy, his attendance is a problem, and he has antagonized several employees. We would like to terminate him, but we do not want to upset or lose his brother. How should we handle this?
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I am five to ten minutes late to work just about every day. My manager gives me infinite grief over this and says I am not following company policy, but she overlooks the fact that I am a good worker. I try to get to work on time, but itís difficult. How can I get her to stop obsessing on this and look at the big picture?
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I work at a small organization and have a manager who frequently shows up late, skips or misses appointments, and leaves early. Because he is the founder and president of the organization, it is hard for anyone to hold him accountable. It embarrasses me to cover for him. What can I do?
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I am a supervisor, and sometimes I am a total jerk to my team. Many of my team members do not understand the immense pressure Iím under. It makes me a jerk when they do not do what I ask, or donít do it my way. I take their ideas into consideration, give credit when due, and incorporate their ideas, but I still come off as the jerk when I do this. The result is that people quit, or they just do what they need to do because they are afraid of me. Do I play the nice guy and under-perform, or be the jerk and keep up the success achieved so far? How do I fix this and avoid becoming the person everybody hates?
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