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Employee HELP!


mollybloom1109
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About a month ago I took a catering director position, the pay is great, working conditions pretty good, all things considered...here is the caveat...

I have inherited a staff, my two banquet captains being mother and daughter. They seem to try and undermine even the littlest thing I do, even to the point of removing garnishes I have placed, ect.

They LOVE their former boss, who was promoted and is now my boss and they run to her over EVERY LITTLE THING...it drives me crazy. I was told as captains that they write the server schedule...and they we happy to do so, giving themselves hours and overtime while letting other people eek by on 20 hrs a week. The dictate from on high came (from even higher management than their former boss) that there was to be no overtime. I emailed back asking how to curb their OT if they write their own schedule....well this was news to the powers that be and I was assigned the schedule. No problem, but when I informed one of the banquet captains, she practically threw a pencil at me.

One of them is a hard worker and well organized and deserves her title. On the flip side, she is rude to me, to the point of not even replying when I say "good morning". The other is LAZY, not as rude but comes to work looking like hell, and probably smokes a pack of cigarettes during an 8 hr shift (I smoke but she is out of control).

So should I sit them down and have the proverbial "Come to Jesus" and lay down the law?

I am tasked with writing job descriptions for them here in the next week or so. Have I just been blessed in the past with wonderful staffs? Anyone have any ideas? HELP! :blink:

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I don't know. It appears that the lines are drawn or should I say swords. I'd start documenting documenting documenting. It's good that the higher ups are listening and responding. Take them some evidence.

If they cannot grow up you need to get rid of them. 'Practically threw a pencil at you' is worthy of a written warning or suspension as is. wtf.

What you might do is, document the date, the occurance and that you asked her about it to check your understanding and she said blabla. Like later in the day you say calmly and clearly just in an inquisitive voice, "Did you not hear me when I said good morning earlier?" Give her a chance to respond and go write it down. That's one on discourteous behavior.

With what you've written in your post, you will have a little notebook full before long. When enough of these little nasties accumulate in one job description category, like too many smoke breaks or whatever, then you have a real sit down and explain that this recurring behavior has all been documented. Go over everything and advise them that this is a verbal warning, the next step is a written warning and so on. That this verbal will stay on the books for x amount of time and so long as no more infractions occur it will not effect her employment record. However if something else happens it compounds like compounding interest. You have to have this all planned out in advance so you can advise of the different steps.

The ones that accumulated to make up the verbal then a written then a suspension then the final then buh bye. But all documented. And after the infraction always check your understanding of what occured by asking them to relate to you what happened. And document it all and fire their butts.

Being courteous and pleasant is part of most job descriptions.

If they value thier positions they need to shape up. You have to do this for every employee so it has to be carried out across the board. Not just diddly stuff. Throwing a pencil is really bad.

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I completely agree with k8memphis.

Document everything. It's in your best interests.

I would also see if you can discuss the problems you are having with your boss (their former employer). Find out if he has any tips for dealing with these two, or if he could, perhaps, talk to them about their behavior.

It's tough to come into a new position. I had a hard time earning the respect of a new staff that I inherited when I started managing in a new department, but they came around in about 3 months once they realised that I knew what I was doing and worked my butt off.

That may happen with these two, or you may have to turf them. But whatever you do, document, document, document.

Then they can't claim to have been unfairly dismissed.

Congrats on the new job, BTW!

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Complete the position descriptions immediately. No one knows (or will admit) what their jobs are without a detailed description. These are the basis for any corrective action. The three step process works well for eliminating sub-optimal employees, documented conversation regarding the offenses, written warning and dismissal. "Practically throwing a pencil" is open to interpretation as to the seriousness.

"I drink to make other people interesting".

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Document everything. Discuss with your boss. Discuss with them. Make sure that he'll let you can them if needed. Then after giving them enough rope, strangle them with it and get people you can trust.

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Start with a friendly quiet and well-timed discussion with your current and their former boss. Ask first - what was boss's experience with those employees? How does Boss think of them? Were there any things boss found that really worked well in "working with" them?

If Boss thinks they are great, you will find it much harder to fire them, or even to get support on the documentation. You could find that you are still considered probationary.

If Boss secretly thought they were problemchildren, your life will be a little easier.

Then if things are nice and friendly still (and its your job to keep it that way in this meeting, of course), ask Boss to do you a favor and help them transition - if they should go to Boss, request that Boss also call you in so you are part of the meeting. That way they can see that Boss supports you and the transition. (and you can see what Boss does that works, perhaps).

When meeting is over, see all those posts above!

I would recommend you dont start documenting til after the meeting because if it gets reported to boss, you end up on the defensive. She who states her case first is most likely to be believed. Make certain that person is you.

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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Koughin is right. I always say, "You can't create your leadership." If the higher ups do not have a working discipline process in place it would be pretty difficult to instate one from your level down. You really can't do what I said to do unless something like it already exists. That's how I got people fired or straightened out. It was easier to train and motivate my folks to make bonu$ so I avoided having to fire too many people. But I should have said that's how my company set up our discipline and action plan stuff. I mean it made it across the board open and shut same for everyone.

She is very right though. Go through the chain of command for sure.

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  • 3 months later...

Start taking notes, notes about what is not working. Form an outline of what is not working and think about solutions.

Get the two captains and any other captains (suggest you promote someone, no overtime right?) and your boss in a room. In a room for a half hour as in schedule it. Now you've got you boss and them and you can go over every little thing.

Your boss may be able to placate them on their own but now you are present and logic will need to be addressed.

"And in the meantime, listen to your appetite and play with your food."

Alton Brown, Good Eats

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It seems like they judged you before they knew you... Without teamwork you have nothing. I remember the days of hey you*%^&%* come here....where are my mo^&^*&^* ing pots. The pendulum swings a political correctness and sometimes ...it sucks.

-Jimmy

Typos are Copyrighted @

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