What do you do when your favorite employee makes mistakes?

What do you do when your favorite employee makes mistakes?

What do you do if your favorite employee screws up at work? You want the violation to stop, but you can’t bear to see your employee’s face if you hand out disciplinary procedures.

Let’s make it more real with a hypothetical example.

Meet Kuya Fred, who has been working as a messenger for you for 10 years. You know him and his family, and Fred has been able to help you with a lot of things when work gets too heavy. Fred always goes the extra mile when serving you. But one day, you find that Fred spent a portion of the company’s petty cash fund because he came up short for tuition payments for his daughter. This is very heartbreaking for you. In fact, you’re even the daughter’s godparent. He got caught during the monthly audit. What do you do?

Here is a reminder for situations just like this.

Remember that you are writing your team’s culture with the way you handle discipline cases.

The dilemma here is that you want to save the person, but you need to address the violation. But before you go off saving your precious employee, remember that you’re in front of the room and everyone is watching what you will do next.

When you praise your team members for certain things, that is an endorsement of the behavior. You are saying, “More please!” When you reprimand or hold people accountable, you are saying that you will not tolerate that particular behavior from happening again.

On the other hand, when you let a violation slip by, you’re actually saying that it’s ok to do this. You are, in fact, saying “More please!” When you look the other way just because you favor the employee who violated the rule, you just sent the message that these types of violations are ok at work.

As a leader, everyone is looking to you for direction. The rest of your team will take cues on how to behave in the workplace based on how you deal with this. They are waiting for you to draw the line in the sand and to tell them what is acceptable and what is unacceptable in the workplace. So you’d better decide carefully.

So, pause a moment and consider all of this before you decide. You are not just deciding Kuya Fred’s case. At the same time, you are declaring what behaviors are acceptable to you and your team. Take a broader view before deciding.

What’s my recommendation for Kuya Fred?

So, after hearing all of this, how then do we treat Kuya Fred’s case?

Despite how well the employee has performed in the past, the fact is that a violation has occurred. Therefore, he has to take responsibility for that. Impose the proper sanction based on your policies or come up with a reasonable penalty on the spot.

If there are mitigating factors, feel free to use them to lighten the load. But you have to show the rest of your team that no matter who does a violation, consequences have to be imposed.

In addition, ensure that Kuya Fred knows what effect his actions have on the rest of the company and why it is important to stop doing that in the future. It is important that the employee takes responsibility for his actions.

So to recap, just because an employee is favored does not mean that he should be exempt from disciplinary procedures. That sets a bad example for the rest of the team.

I hope that you find this reminder useful and it helps you deal with similar cases.

Keep it simple,

Atty. Zag

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