You have an employee who stays to help you when you are understaffed due to circumstances such as people calling in. That employee in turn needs your help, they can't stay for that extra shift because they have a situation at home that needs their attention. A family member is in the hospital and that employee needs to take care of some personal business and the employee explains this to the manager in charge of that shift. However, you will be understaffed without them. How would you handle this situation? Can you handle things without this employee and would you hold that against them?

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Comment by Connie, One Fat Frog on November 28, 2008 at 2:50pm
There doesn't really seem to be any debate on this question. Your employee staying to help when you need help is no different than recognizing that your employee needs help. No one plans illness or problems, these challenges just happen and we have to "come together" to assist. This means as an employee we have to understand the greater good of the company and as an employer we need to understand the greater good of the employee. So, let's play devil's advocate here, "no, you cannot go to your family in this emergency." So you now have the needed staff member who is only half-there, and it's really a no-brainer. Cater to your employee's needs and they will be loyal. Jorgen's response above really illustrated how this philosophy can pay off!
Comment by Jorgen Moller on October 1, 2008 at 7:22am
We had over 100 emplyees for 15 + years and we were all family
They were the reason we went from a 50 seat diner with one emplyee, to the 83rd largest independent award wining restaurant in America
When someone got into truble we made al our resouses avalible to them all as we had ourselfes.
If some got locked up in jail in casablanca, we FedEx $ 5000.00 to get her out, come back and paid back by working it of in one year. Someone ended up in jail for drunken driving after partying at late night with other emplyees. Their spouses knew they could call us any time for our help
We figured out that over a fifteen year period we must have bailed out over 100 emplyees.
Some got an IRS problem, we made our CPA on retainer take care of their problem at no cost to them
Any legal problem for our emplees we let our attorney on retainer help them out.
Any time someone had a personal problem, the staff worked out their own by covering each others shift. All they were required to do was to inform us of the change. No problem
With a staff of over 100 we had daily staff meetings where everything was laid out in open
the good, the bad and the ugly, just like in close knit family...
Never did we experience being short on staff as we could just call up and ask someone on their day off to come in, never were we turned down. We served over 1000 upscale dinners every night but it was a piece of cake with our wonderful satff of all family
Any undesireble staff members was 'fired' by their own peers...
"we don't like that person here, please" so it all took care of itself, very simple...
Comment by Amanda Vroom on September 26, 2008 at 5:53am
Family always wins over work! Understaffed is a temporary situation, family matters can change lives forever...

I have always been able to relate to people and their needs, when family matters arise, it is important to them to be there, in turn it is important for me to support them by letting them go to their family. I often find that they truly appreciate this gesture- despite knowing we will run short. However, if you have built a dynamic TEAM- then everyone will pull together and make it happen!

Comment by Keith Bernhardt on September 25, 2008 at 8:04pm
Family first. Absolutely, regardless of what type of business it is.
If you're under staffed, I believe most people will understand.
If need be, you may have to close for a night or adjust hours.
Everybody has a family of some kind, and I am sure they have had their share of
crises, and i believe they will understand. If you get the customers that gripe and complain
about the adjustments, do you really want them anyway ?

Comment by Mark Moeller on September 25, 2008 at 2:11pm
Over simplified, I run short handed. If this employee has been there for everyone, it is only fair that everyone is there for him especialy with a family member in the hospital. If they were going to a concert, he would have to work. A commitment needs to honored, no doubt about it. There are times when extenuating circumstances have to prevail.

Also, anyone that is off for that shift should step up and come in to cover as this employee seems to do.
Comment by Adam R. Cox on September 25, 2008 at 1:52pm
This is a loyal employee that most likely is a good friend as well. If I was the manager, I would give that person the time off that they needed to attend to family issues. Because of their past actions it is apparent that they understand respondsibility and they would not abuse it.

It would also be time for others in the company to step-up and repay the debt that the employee is owed and come in for them.

If you do not, then i think you will lose that loyality next time around.

Time to suck it up and ask others to suck it up too!




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