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Family Business Absenteeism/Tardiness

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?

This sounds like a matter of brothers and keepers, and the issue is that an excellent employee's brother is not a keeper. As in all matters that deal with family and business, the emphasis should be placed on making businesslike decisions.

It is always a mistake for companies to avoid terminating an employee because they fear alienating another family member who performs well. This type of practice builds resentment not only among management, but among the general staff as well.

When you have an employee who is not performing well, you should document the performance, provide written feedback, work with the employee to develop a correction plan, set some dates and deadlines, and advise the employee of the consequences of continued sub-par performance.

With this type of approach, you are treating this employee fairly and providing him with an opportunity to turn things around. In this way, he is actually determining whether he will be retained or not. This is a matter between the struggling employee and the company. This is no one else's business, family or not.

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