Friday, July 15, 2016

"My best employee quit on the spot because I wouldn’t let her go to her college graduation"

From Ask A Manager -
A reader writes:

I manage a team, and part of their jobs is to provide customer support over the phone. Due to a new product launch, we are expected to provide service outside of our normal hours for a time. This includes some of my team coming in on a day our office is normally closed (based on lowest seniority because no one volunteered).

One employee asked to come in two hours after the start time due to her college graduation ceremony being that same day (she was taking night classes part-time in order to earn her degree). I was unable to grant her request because she was the employee with the lowest seniority and we need coverage for that day. I said that if she could find someone to replace her for those two hours, she could start later.

She asked her coworkers, but no one was willing to come in on their day off. After she asked around, some people who were not scheduled for the overtime did switch shifts with other people (but not her) and volunteered to take on overtime from others who were scheduled, but these people are friends outside of work, and as long as there is coverage I don’t interfere if people want to give or take overtime of their own accord. (Caveat: I did intervene and switch one person’s end time because they had concert tickets that they had already paid for, but this was a special circumstance because there was cost involved.)


redheadmba said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
redheadmba said...

Clearly, this is an organization that does not value their employees. My prediction is that the new college grad will get a better job with a new company. There is bound to be impact on the morale of the other employees in the department when they see that the best employee, who worked hard at both the job and in completing college (and probably made many sacrifices to do both at the same time) was treated so poorly by management.

Josée Fonseca said...

"I manage a team..." was the first mistake. This person doesn't "manage" a team if he lets them sort issues like this out for themselves. Reasoning that a college education is less of an expense compared to a concert ticket is only evidence of the "manager" not having good judgement. He made his decision based on whatever values he holds, and the employee made her decision based on the values she holds. If he in fact, did value this employee, he should have done something to accommodate her.

It sounds like an almost comically grinch-like situation but a friend of my daughter was in a very similar spot. He is a very conscientious kid, and his boss would not cover him so he could go to prom. If a good employee is not worth a couple hours of your time when you have nothing planned then you don't deserve that employee. You can have the one who just doesn't show up for his shift.