My employee is taking advantage of me

Have you ever found yourself so frustrated with your employee and you find yourself wondering if it is time to let them go?  Well, most likely the answer is "of course you have".

Recently I was talking to a member of the Culture First group, and he found himself in that very situation.  He had a newer employee and he found himself frustrated with that employee because he had exceed the number of allowed absences by 2 or 3 absences.  

It's worth sharing how he got there because it is such a common story.  He said he wanted to be a flexible boss and show some compassion and understanding.  But in the same breath, he was exasperated and felt like he was being taken advantage of.  

Well, he was being taken advantage of, but he actually invited the employee to abuse the attendance policy the minute he kept the employee after he had used all of the allowed absences.

Ignoring the policies is not ideal, but it happens.  However, when you allow your employees to blow past the policies, the secret is acknowledging it was a conscience decision.  Nobody is abusing you; you consciously allowed them to exceed your policy limits.  

So, how do you consciously exceed your policies and still maintain some sort of control?  Well, it's not easy because you've already shown the employee(s) that you make exceptions.  So even if you revamp your policies and give them a finite number of "extra chances", will they really believe there is a finite number?

The best you can do is override the policy and say why.  Then you need to define what the next consequence will be.  Know that they probably won't believe the next consequence , and maybe you don't either, but you have to reign in the boundaries.  If you don't reign in the boundaries, you will be in the perpetual hamster wheel.  

Be aware though, when you override your policies, you may not have a leg to stand on, depending on your state.

The best thing you can do is create policies that you will actually follow.  And if you don't follow your own policies, take that responsibility on, and don't blame your employees for abusing your kindness (or wishy-washyness).  You gave them the key to open the gate to "approved irresponsibility".

Here's the last thing I'm going to say about this.  Only in rare cases is you bending your own policies going to actually work out.  You are just delaying the inevitable.  If you have an employee who consistently abuses the policies, especially a new employee, I'm almost certain that you are just delaying the inevitable.  Just cut the cord, and avoid the frustration with the same eventual, but delayed, outcome.



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