Stop tolerating worker's tardiness, absence

Question: One of my employees constantly calls at the last minute to say she will be arriving late or not coming in at all. "Ginger" also leaves early on a regular basis, so she seldom works a full eight-hour day. Although she has no health problems, her absences average about one day a week.

Unfortunately, Ginger is not in a job where the work can accumulate until she returns, so her co-workers have to pick up the slack. Even though I own the business, I sometimes have to finish Ginger's work myself. This has become very frustrating. Can you help?

Answer: To be perfectly honest, this is the kind of question that makes me want to bang my head against the wall. Since you own the business, why on earth are you putting up with this behavior? You could quickly eliminate the problem by simply acting like a manager.

At the moment, Ginger appears to be running this show. She not only takes time off whenever she likes, but she also finds her work completed when she returns. Although you may not realize it, you have been rewarding her for slacking off, so you need to establish some new expectations.

For example: "Ginger, until now I have been very tolerant about your missing a lot of work time, but that was a mistake on my part. From now on, unless there are unusual circumstances, I expect you to work a full 40-hour week like everyone else. If you can't do that, then you will not be able to keep this job."

Hopefully, Ginger will choose to comply and conform. But if she ignores your warning and continues to set her own schedule, just replace her with someone who actually wants to work.

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