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RANT Help dealing with food industry employees

Soulrize

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This post was motivated by me being flustered. I have an employee who I know isn't a good fit for my business and was here only because she was the previous owner's employee, I have dealt with her shit and racked it up as to being a ------ . I have to show patience and a strong amount of restraint to not fire her. I was taught by my parents (food owner with alot of exp) if your willing to take a second and bite your tongue and think "Do you really want to (there labor intensive job) everyday " and basically is it worth it. Quite literally I know it is almost never worth it unless there making costly mistakes and continue to do so but a lack of respect is not really a real reason to seriously fire an employee I believe, however, should I put a help wanted sign and post for jobs and start asking around for references?
 

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It's your business, and your responsibility alone to create the culture within it that you want to see. Don't be held victim by an employee, but do step back and make sure that the problem isn't both of you, or worse, you. Are there other employees that this person brings down? Are they sinking the ship? Or is it just a personality conflict between you and her that you can take steps to correct.
 

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If you are not happy with the work by the employee and think you can find a better one, what's stopping you from firing?
 

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Although I agree with the above posts, I've noticed that often times when observing employees in lower paying jobs is that the ones that are hard working, good employees generally don't stick around too long. They are trying to go somewhere in life, and the low paying job is just a stepping stone. The employees who aren't motivated to earn more generally do not have the best work ethic or attitude, but they'll often stay as long as you'll put up with them.

So you fire them. You'll have to find a replacement. What are the odds that you'll find someone better, and if you do, what are the odds they stick around?

Despite whatever crap they like to create, I'm more likely to keep them on as long as:
  • The job is getting done without excess costs because of mistakes
  • Customers do not have contact with this person
  • Other employees are not being affected (basically have little to no contact with this person)
  • The financial benefit in keeping them is greater than the impact they have on my pride! :smile:
 
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Soulrize

Soulrize

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I have to admit it it was more of a personal problem in that I prefer a certain kind of worker. The part I dont prefer is everytime I come to implement change or ask for some suggestions , my employee is always hard headed at first (I prefer them to already be finding ways to make it happen like my other 2 I have) and throws a small fit, saying no no no, but always ends up doing what was asked after a couple of hours later. Its more a patience thing and its not the first time I've seen this kind of employee. There was one in my parents shops that my parents had to deal with and I swore to myself I'd never let that happen to me when I get my own shop XD . haha....... easier said than done.
Overall if I ignore that pissed off look after I ask her of something and look at the end result of work getting done, I'd honestly say she's a good worker because of the low oversight I have to give her and her values are aligned (customers first, customers come from good product, friendly service) the only weakness is shes only been in only one shop for five years , and the previous owner was not expansive in any way so she is used to the same every day.
So like B.Cole said it is my responsibility to make improvements the norm, either through experimentation or just a common sense approach and it has been going well so far (partly I believe from all my staff members being around the prime ages of 27-35)
 
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Soulrize

Soulrize

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What is the problem?
I believe it was a miscommunication in English (she's a non-native speaker and barely knows English beyond basic greetings ) and a cultural difference in that I'm a lot younger than her and she doesn't show respect to those beneath her age. Even though I am her boss at 24 and shes 36 she is just rude, quick to anger, and doesn't like to take orders from me. However, those same words uttered from an elder and such is taken without attitude and talk back.
 

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Maybe you are being not nice to her and havent been able to build rapport, thats my guess.

''Take orders'' from you. Really dont like that langauge
 

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I'd highly recommend that you read the book Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink, I think it's ideal for dealing with leadership issues like this, particularly with age and experience differences which are very common in the military. Often you'll have a 21-year-old commanding 40-year-old veterans who have seen friends blown up. That's a tough situation, this book gives you the principle to tackle challenging leadership issues, which I believe is a skill you need to develop.
 

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Sounds like a good situation to do some relationship building or try and get employee buy-in.

Do you regularly have staff meetings or other avenues to open up the organization's guts to your members? Do their opinions or ideas ever matter?

How are your relationships - do you do things like celebrate birthdays or accomplishments, or do some form of recognition for milestones and goals that are achieved? Good companies only exist when there are good employees getting things done, and the best employees don't think of themselves as employees, rather a part of an organization.

Maybe she doesn't feel like she's part of something worthwhile .
 

Startup Steve

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This post was motivated by me being flustered. I have an employee who I know isn't a good fit for my business and was here only because she was the previous owner's employee, I have dealt with her sh*t and racked it up as to being a ------ . I have to show patience and a strong amount of restraint to not fire her. I was taught by my parents (food owner with alot of exp) if your willing to take a second and bite your tongue and think "Do you really want to (there labor intensive job) everyday " and basically is it worth it. Quite literally I know it is almost never worth it unless there making costly mistakes and continue to do so but a lack of respect is not really a real reason to seriously fire an employee I believe, however, should I put a help wanted sign and post for jobs and start asking around for references?
As I share with people a marketable skill will make you money, having business management skills will make you lots of money, having emotional discipline will make you an insane amount of money.

Many folks cannot control how they feel or the behaviors as result of those feelings. Eventually people will move to a state where they cannot control how they feel but they are able to control their behaviors. This sounds like where you're at and continue to focus on controlling your behavior. Eventually you should also be working on controlling your feelings that way there aren't any behaviors you have to control. The game really starts to change when you can actually influence the behaviors and feelings of others.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk
 

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404profound

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Not sure if anyone else mentioned it, but it could be a coaching opportunity. You'd be doing her a favor as much as yourself. Need to make it clear about expectations and where the boundaries are. If she continues to exceed your boundaries, just hire someone else.
 

Real Deal Denver

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Even though I am her boss at 24 and shes 36 she is just rude, quick to anger, and doesn't like to take orders from me. However, those same words uttered from an elder and such is taken without attitude and talk back.
I think looking in the mirror would be good advice. Most of us here have been 24, so we know what we're talking about. I consider 25-30 to be the age when most people peak out in showing their overbearing and inpatient traits. Before that, they listen a lot more - and after that, they realize they don't know nearly as much as they thought they did and they even develop a sense of introspection into themselves (hopefully!). I know you don't think this applies to you - which is a sure sign that you are indeed going through this phase. I have seen so many 25-30 year olds that are way too overzealous and impatient. You won't be able to see this until you reach, oh, about 35 and up. Then it stands out like a hay stack on fire in a field. I myself had an abundance of energy and impatience at 25 - that's when I started my first company. Oh, how I'd love to have 1/2 of that drive today!

On the other hand, giving you the benefit of the doubt, it may help to pull her aside and say something like, "You know, we all have a job to do. I do not expect anyone to second guess me or argue with me when I say something. If you have better ideas, let me know, as I am here to do as good of a job as possible. But when I say to do something, I am not saying that for fun. I expect a lot more action and a lot less arguing. (end with a good note!0 I KNOW you do your job extremely well, AND I appreciate it. You have a lot of experience and take charge of getting things done. But I need more focus from you. I'm not here to make your day difficult, in fact part of my job is to help you do your job better. Do you understand my point of view better now? I don't want you to think that I don't have reasons for saying things. Are we on the same page now? (wait for answer) Good - maybe we should try to have a little more open communication, because that never hurts does it? Thanks for YOUR understanding. I need everyone to work as a team, because, after all, that's really what we are!"

BAM - you are going to get a lot of respect for talking that way, and a much more appreciated worker (correction - CO-WORKER!).

It amazes me how we can highly train animals, but so many managers/bosses can't train people in a way that makes them feel good about themselves and what they do.

Good companies only exist when there are good employees getting things done, and the best employees don't think of themselves as employees, rather a part of an organization.

Maybe she doesn't feel like she's part of something worthwhile .
You have to realize that this job may be a BIG part of her life. To some, it's a low level job. To her, it could be how she literally exists. It is "her world" perhaps. When I was at IBM, we had monthly meetings. We didn't NEED those meetings, but we had them anyway. It was always something I looked forward to. It was a break so that we could hear from the boss how things were going, and what was coming. It made me feel like what I was doing was actually important (and it was) instead of being just number 123 employee. We had connection and purpose. I always marvel at the in store ads for "low-level" help - join our team, start your career, learn valuable skills, etc. (think McDonalds, etc.) Then when someone gets the job, it's "make this food and be quick about it." Team? There's no team. Instead, people slowly sink into feeling like they're just there wasting their life away. Yeah, all that talk goes out the window real quick. Free uniforms and discounts on meals, and other than that; "shut up and take orders." Who wants to go to something like that everyday?

Eventually you should also be working on controlling your feelings that way there aren't any behaviors you have to control. The game really starts to change when you can actually influence the behaviors and feelings of others.
I've managed several departments, and have been in business for myself for many years. I go OUT of my way to point out things that were done well by my co-workers. Notice I said co-worker. Technically, I was their supervisor, but I needed them as much as they needed me. I told them (when they started) that we all know I am their supervisor, but I am really their coach. I told them that my job is to help them do their job better, as is my bosses job to help me to do my job better. When we ALL do better, everyone wins. And then I treated them that way. I didn't give orders (as you stated) - more like, Hey Bill, I need this taken care of by noon today - can you handle this? I'm treating him with respect and giving him responsibility. Or, Hey Bill, the trash bins are all full, can you take care of that please, and keep an eye on it so it doesn't happen again? That's SO much more than just a "job." Respect costs NOTHING and goes a long ways to make people like their jobs. I also made it a point to compliment people. Everyone. Not too much, but I assure you that everyone I worked with KNEW without a doubt that they were important and they were valued. Even the person that only answered the phone, I told them "you have the most important job here because you are the face of my department. You are the first person people talk to. Make a good first impression! It's important!" I always thanked the delivery drivers even. Like respect, a moment to say "thanks, I appreciate your work/attention to detail/taking care of this. A few words go MILES. Even when I was delivering papers, I still remember to this day the people that thanked me for putting their paper where they requested it (when I came around to collect money). And I also remember how many times some of my bosses complimented me - and I'm sorry to say that I could count it on one hand for some of them. That's in spite of me doing more work than they expected and doing it better than they expected. They were only managers/bosses because they had been there the longest. If I ran the company, I would have THEIR department people evaluate THEM every quarter or so. But most business owners are lousy at managing people. Just look around, and you don't have to look far. Inside I told myself, "I don't need any of your appreciation, because I'm learning more every day here, and someday I will surpass you." And guess what - I did.

Hope this helps. Take care of your flock!
 
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GoGetter24

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Odds are greater that you're the problem.

A 24 year old knowing better than a 36 year old who's worked there 5 years, huh?

So as long as you've checked your ego and any "I know best because I'm me" ism you might have, the usual techniques are to hand over more autonomy & ownership of results instead of micromanaging.

And if you have to change the way they do things because it's genuinely going to make a difference to the performance of the business (versus being part of a story that ends with "the new owners drove it into the ground"), then you structure the introduction of that new thing such that they feel it was their idea in the first place.
 

Startup Steve

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Odds are greater that you're the problem.

A 24 year old knowing better than a 36 year old who's worked there 5 years, huh?

So as long as you've checked your ego and any "I know best because I'm me" ism you might have, the usual techniques are to hand over more autonomy & ownership of results instead of micromanaging.

And if you have to change the way they do things because it's genuinely going to make a difference to the performance of the business (versus being part of a story that ends with "the new owners drove it into the ground"), then you structure the introduction of that new thing such that they feel it was their idea in the first place.
LOL - I was a very cocky and arrogant person in my mid 20's not sure the 40's Steve would have put up with me for long.

That being said I also look very young and dealt with age discrimination for years. Back in the 90's the gray hairs were not familiar to work with late 20's CEOs that look late teens.
 
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MHP368

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This post was motivated by me being flustered. I have an employee who I know isn't a good fit for my business and was here only because she was the previous owner's employee, I have dealt with her sh*t and racked it up as to being a ------ . I have to show patience and a strong amount of restraint to not fire her. I was taught by my parents (food owner with alot of exp) if your willing to take a second and bite your tongue and think "Do you really want to (there labor intensive job) everyday " and basically is it worth it. Quite literally I know it is almost never worth it unless there making costly mistakes and continue to do so but a lack of respect is not really a real reason to seriously fire an employee I believe, however, should I put a help wanted sign and post for jobs and start asking around for references?
Yeh absolutely, how hard is the job? , like some guy flipping burgers not showing up super psyched is reasonable but "having a job 101" should teach basic respect to the person who signs your paycheck, when the proletariat seize the means of production they can disrespect each other all they want, until then you run the show and you shouldn't have to deal with that added insubordination.
 
OP
OP
Soulrize

Soulrize

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Sep 21, 2014
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heir opinions or ideas ever matter?
Sounds like a good situation to do some relationship building or try and get employee buy-in.

Do you regularly have staff meetings or other avenues to open up the organization's guts to your members? Do their opinions or ideas ever matter?

How are your relationships - do you do things like celebrate birthdays or accomplishments, or do some form of recognition for milestones and goals that are achieved? Good companies only exist when there are good employees getting things done, and the best employees don't think of themselves as employees, rather a part of an organization.

Maybe she doesn't feel like she's part of something worthwhile .
I have 4 employees and I open up my business to all opportunities because I give them an opportunity to eventually have there own business and there free to learn and use ideas on my shop (at my approval) so that really opens the gates with added raises and carefully crafted bonuses based on growing sales past previous months through creativity and consistent execution. So all but one contribute ideas and I see them through no matter the cost. (within reason) because I want them to not be limited in worrying about cost but instead focused on growth and leave the worry of cost to me. So yes except for this one employee, they do feel apart of it because they can see their ideas implemented, adjusted, and successful at that.

I think looking in the mirror would be good advice. Most of us here have been 24, so we know what we're talking about. I consider 25-30 to be the age when most people peak out in showing their overbearing and inpatient traits. Before that, they listen a lot more - and after that, they realize they don't know nearly as much as they thought they did and they even develop a sense of introspection into themselves (hopefully!). I know you don't think this applies to you - which is a sure sign that you are indeed going through this phase. I have seen so many 25-30 year olds that are way too overzealous and impatient. You won't be able to see this until you reach, oh, about 35 and up. Then it stands out like a hay stack on fire in a field. I myself had an abundance of energy and impatience at 25 - that's when I started my first company. Oh, how I'd love to have 1/2 of that drive today!

On the other hand, giving you the benefit of the doubt, it may help to pull her aside and say something like, "You know, we all have a job to do. I do not expect anyone to second guess me or argue with me when I say something. If you have better ideas, let me know, as I am here to do as good of a job as possible. But when I say to do something, I am not saying that for fun. I expect a lot more action and a lot less arguing. (end with a good note!0 I KNOW you do your job extremely well, AND I appreciate it. You have a lot of experience and take charge of getting things done. But I need more focus from you. I'm not here to make your day difficult, in fact part of my job is to help you do your job better. Do you understand my point of view better now? I don't want you to think that I don't have reasons for saying things. Are we on the same page now? (wait for answer) Good - maybe we should try to have a little more open communication, because that never hurts does it? Thanks for YOUR understanding. I need everyone to work as a team, because, after all, that's really what we are!"

BAM - you are going to get a lot of respect for talking that way, and a much more appreciated worker (correction - CO-WORKER!).

It amazes me how we can highly train animals, but so many managers/bosses can't train people in a way that makes them feel good about themselves and what they do.



You have to realize that this job may be a BIG part of her life. To some, it's a low level job. To her, it could be how she literally exists. It is "her world" perhaps. When I was at IBM, we had monthly meetings. We didn't NEED those meetings, but we had them anyway. It was always something I looked forward to. It was a break so that we could hear from the boss how things were going, and what was coming. It made me feel like what I was doing was actually important (and it was) instead of being just number 123 employee. We had a connection and purpose. I always marvel at the in store ads for "low-level" help - join our team, start your career, learn valuable skills, etc. (think McDonalds, etc.) Then when someone gets the job, it's "make this food and be quick about it." Team? There's no team. Instead, people slowly sink into feeling like they're just there wasting their life away. Yeah, all that talk goes out the window real quick. Free uniforms and discounts on meals, and other than that; "shut up and take orders." Who wants to go to something like that everyday?



I've managed several departments, and have been in business for myself for many years. I go OUT of my way to point out things that were done well by my co-workers. Notice I said co-worker. Technically, I was their supervisor, but I needed them as much as they needed me. I told them (when they started) that we all know I am their supervisor, but I am really their coach. I told them that my job is to help them do their job better, as is my bosses job to help me to do my job better. When we ALL do better, everyone wins. And then I treated them that way. I didn't give orders (as you stated) - more like, Hey Bill, I need this taken care of by noon today - can you handle this? I'm treating him with respect and giving him responsibility. Or, Hey Bill, the trash bins are all full, can you take care of that please, and keep an eye on it so it doesn't happen again? That's SO much more than just a "job." Respect costs NOTHING and goes a long ways to make people like their jobs. I also made it a point to compliment people. Everyone. Not too much, but I assure you that everyone I worked with KNEW without a doubt that they were important and they were valued. Even the person that only answered the phone, I told them "you have the most important job here because you are the face of my department. You are the first person people talk to. Make a good first impression! It's important!" I always thanked the delivery drivers even. Like respect, a moment to say "thanks, I appreciate your work/attention to detail/taking care of this. A few words go MILES. Even when I was delivering papers, I still remember to this day the people that thanked me for putting their paper where they requested it (when I came around to collect money). And I also remember how many times some of my bosses complimented me - and I'm sorry to say that I could count it on one hand for some of them. That's in spite of me doing more work than they expected and doing it better than they expected. They were only managers/bosses because they had been there the longest. If I ran the company, I would have THEIR department people evaluate THEM every quarter or so. But most business owners are lousy at managing people. Just look around, and you don't have to look far. Inside I told myself, "I don't need any of your appreciation, because I'm learning more every day here, and someday I will surpass you." And guess what - I did.

Hope this helps. Take care of your flock!
Thank you for your post, There is a huge difference in our knowledge, I read your paragraph in awe and there is a long way for me to go in terms of offering respect while at the same time applying accountability without a negative feel to it. Very grateful for this line "You know, we all have a job to do. I do not expect anyone to second guess me or argue with me when I say something. If you have better ideas, let me know, as I am here to do as good of a job as possible. But when I say to do something, I am not saying that for fun. I expect a lot more action and a lot less arguing. " This is the exact message I wanted to relay to my co-worker, however, I mistakenly handled it with an overly angry tone (first I've ever used with any of co-workers since I don't believe I ever think clearly in anger and proven right again ) It got the job done for talking back and ended the belittling but the trade-off is a bit of a overly obedience which isn't what provides the adequate openness for debate and creativity I'm looking to create. I will work on how I deliver my message to my co-workers in a way that is respectful and adds the accountability, I know my other employees get my message and don't take personal offense if I misworded it sometimes, however in some cases it does offend and that were I have a weakness to improve on.

As to the point about that being her world, that is absolutely correct. I know all my co-workers and on occasion spend time with them beyond work. She does not contact her family, (they mistreated her ) so she lives with my partner as her benefit (everything provided ). She is single and from my judgment has trouble talking to men. So quite literally she does just go to my partner's house and work since she doesn't have a car and I provide a ride as a convenience to get her home every day.

Odds are greater that you're the problem.

A 24 year old knowing better than a 36 year old who's worked there 5 years, huh?

So as long as you've checked your ego and any "I know best because I'm me" ism you might have, the usual techniques are to hand over more autonomy & ownership of results instead of micromanaging.

And if you have to change the way they do things because it's genuinely going to make a difference to the performance of the business (versus being part of a story that ends with "the new owners drove it into the ground"), then you structure the introduction of that new thing such that they feel it was their idea in the first place.
Well, I grew up in this industry(12yo), as well as immersing myself in every single aspect of the business in details and visiting 100's of different shops for analysis of what works and what doesn't. (Dragged along by my dad but now it pays heavy dividends as I build of it ) So the shop I'm in charge of did have some good and some bad and using the excuse that I face at every change that "that's the way we always do it" has no grounds in my shop. Strict logic, knowledge, and experience guild the processes of making a product in my shop so if there was a reason things can be improved I will take them, doesn't mean I'm always right because my other employees have made my changes even better! I don't believe I'm always right either but at minimal changes, I implement have a reason which I always explain. However, if you do your job for 5 years and never visited another shop before, I would know in fact you would not know what a quality product entails and might not care. So it's my job to educate all my co-workers on what quality looks like, the process behind it, and be consistent. Its tough breaking 5 years of producing bad products and not knowing it was bad to begin with, so I can understand the dislike to change when believing everything is supposedly fine and dandy as it was before.
 

Seth Goodluck

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@Soulrize

Check out the book "Leadership and Self Deception: Getting out of the Box". It's a fast read and written more like a story. It'll be worth your time (a few hours) and investment.

Heck, if you read it and hate it, I'll personally buy your copy off of you - so you can only gain.

It's been... invaluable in how I handle all of my relationships (professional and otherwise).
~
I'd advocate patience... post around as you want... if a rockstar comes in at a similar price point and is an awesome fit, the choice is obvious.

Good luck, and keep us posted
 

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