It’s Decision Day for You

Dear Ken Keller:

I’ve been on my managers to get all employee evaluations completed before the end of November.

Some of the managers were not very experienced at this process. I brought in an HR consultant to do some coaching and we all role-played both sides of the meeting (manager and employee).

Checking our finances, I had set aside a set an amount for increases that would go into effect at the start of 2016. I divided the money by department and worked with each manager to allocate pay increases. Some employees earned larger increases than others and some employees did not receive any raise.

When it came to the actual one on ones there were a few employees who were pretty upset that they did not receive a raise. Now I have employees who are vocal about this, not very productive and my fear is that their attitude will impact the other employees, our service levels and productivity. What do you recommend? — Caron J.

Dear Caron,

Some employees are simply more valuable to a company than others and earn more money as a result. Some employees do the minimum to get by, and over time, that attitude catches up including not getting increases in pay.

My advice: tackle this issue head on. Deal with it today. One by one, you call in these “bad attitude” employees, and make sure that their manager is present as a witness.

You simply tell each employee that you are aware that they did not earn a pay increase. Emphasize the word “earn.” You need to show each one on the evaluation form how they can improve to get a raise the next time there are evaluations.

Then state that they are going to be given the rest of the day to think about their attitude at your place of employment because today is “Decision Day.”

Clarify what “Decision Day” is by saying that the employee can lose their lousy attitude and keep their job or they can keep the lousy attitude and lose their job. There are no other options for the employee. They have until the next morning to decide.

The employee must return the next morning when the business opens to tell you and their manager what the decision is.

You then need to state that if the poor attitude surfaces again at any point in the future, they will be immediately suspended, and a third occurrence will mean termination.

Be sure suggest that they need to go home and speak to their spouse or significant other about the decision that needs to be made and to discuss the ramifications of being unemployed over the holiday season and into the New Year.

Is this tough love? Yes. The biggest heartaches and most painful headaches come from dealing with employees who have poor attitudes about work. These are people who don’t believe in “earn” but think they are “owed.”

Be decisive and take swift action. Do this for the sake of everyone else on your payroll and for your clients who deserve the best possible service from every employee.