Author Topic: Email response to an employee  (Read 6889 times)

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BeagleMommy

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Re: Email response to an employee
« Reply #15 on: September 27, 2012, 11:01:24 AM »
A.

In response to your email, you have not been denied shifts; others have been approved.  Bossman and I must fill those shifts with the people we feel are best suited for the shift.  You should apply for shifts earlier in the month rather than waiting for the last week of the month.  However, with the time constraints you have, we cannot guarantee a shift will be given to you.  You should also take steps to improve your skills in (list items she needs to improve).  This will heighten your chances of being awarded more shifts.  If you would like to discuss this further, please make an appointment to meet with me in person.

She sounds immature and petulant.

SleepyKitty

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Re: Email response to an employee
« Reply #16 on: September 27, 2012, 12:50:26 PM »
The entire bartending staff is seeking more hours... So honestly the only way I would approve a shift for her would be if she was the only only one trying to pick it up. Which could happen, but with the way the group is fighting for shift probably won't be anytime soon or at least not with a "good" shift.

If that is the case, then tell her that -- as clearly and bluntly as you  put it above. Then she can decide if it's worth continuing to bang her head against the brick wall of the roster or seek more hours at another workplace.

Totally agree. If there really is such a small possibility for her to pick up extra shifts, I think there is an obvious misunderstanding going on that management is partially responsible for. It sounds like she was told/encouraged to pick up more shifts when she was hired... but in reality those shifts are not truly available to her. So she needs to know what realistically is available to her in terms of hours as well as the things she needs to improve.

MissManager

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Re: Email response to an employee
« Reply #17 on: September 27, 2012, 01:02:33 PM »
She is looking to pick up 50% more shifts than you hired her to do, based on your recommendation, so a substantial increase. The amount of shifts you had available overall shouldn't override her efforts, and isn't her problem. Are any of your other staff looking to increase their workload by that much?

(Bolding is mine) I'm not sure why you think this? I have a finite number of shifts in order to be cost effective, so the limited number of shifts is her problem. Every member of my staff knew we were in the period were shifts were at a premium. I have about 30 bartenders and I'd say 5 of them aren't looking to increase their workload to some degree.

You say she needs more experience, and it looks like she's actively trying to get it. She says she loves her job and is trying and you say nothing to acknowledge that or encourage her in any way. What is her incentive to keep trying? You criticize her attitude, but how long is she supposed to bang her head against the same wall? She has no idea why she's being passed over, and you haven't done anything to help her understand. I think the situation hasn't been effectively managed and that your proposed email can only breed resentment and make things worse.

She says she does, but she hasn't shown me that she's trying. Her efforts at work are underwhelming and I don't consider 4 attempts to pick up shifts banging her head against a wall. If she had spent the month attempting to pick up shifts and being denied, then that would be a valid argument. She waited until the last week of the month to picked up shifts probably because she didn't budget well and realized rent is due (my own assumption). She has had sit down regarding her efforts and what needs to be done to improve

MissManager

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Re: Email response to an employee
« Reply #18 on: September 27, 2012, 01:03:34 PM »
The entire bartending staff is seeking more hours... So honestly the only way I would approve a shift for her would be if she was the only only one trying to pick it up. Which could happen, but with the way the group is fighting for shift probably won't be anytime soon or at least not with a "good" shift.

If that is the case, then tell her that -- as clearly and bluntly as you  put it above. Then she can decide if it's worth continuing to bang her head against the brick wall of the roster or seek more hours at another workplace.

Totally agree. If there really is such a small possibility for her to pick up extra shifts, I think there is an obvious misunderstanding going on that management is partially responsible for. It sounds like she was told/encouraged to pick up more shifts when she was hired... but in reality those shifts are not truly available to her. So she needs to know what realistically is available to her in terms of hours as well as the things she needs to improve.

There were atleast 8 shifts out of the 60 that were released that no one tried to pick up, so its not an impossibility. When she turned in her availability she was told that she would only get 2 days but to try to pick up shifts when she could. It seems a little ridiculous to believe that we wouldn't be telling the other 29 bartenders the same thing.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2012, 01:15:50 PM by MissManager »

MissManager

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Re: Email response to an employee
« Reply #19 on: September 27, 2012, 01:37:00 PM »
The entire bartending staff is seeking more hours... So honestly the only way I would approve a shift for her would be if she was the only only one trying to pick it up. Which could happen, but with the way the group is fighting for shift probably won't be anytime soon or at least not with a "good" shift.

If that is the case, then tell her that -- as clearly and bluntly as you  put it above. Then she can decide if it's worth continuing to bang her head against the brick wall of the roster or seek more hours at another workplace.

I agree with that. 

And I have a question...   if you have so many employees trying to pick up extra shifts, why do you have so many employees?  Why not have fewer, full-time employees that you can depend on?

During the summer, the busy season, I need that many people. Now that the season has slowed down we slowly weed out those that we can, but its an ongoing process. We also want to maintain as many of the good people as we can through the slow season so that we don't have to retrain in the spring and because our hiring process takes so long that we end up behind.

Cami

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Re: Email response to an employee
« Reply #20 on: September 27, 2012, 01:47:31 PM »
She is looking to pick up 50% more shifts than you hired her to do, based on your recommendation, so a substantial increase. The amount of shifts you had available overall shouldn't override her efforts, and isn't her problem. Are any of your other staff looking to increase their workload by that much?

(Bolding is mine) I'm not sure why you think this? I have a finite number of shifts in order to be cost effective, so the limited number of shifts is her problem. Every member of my staff knew we were in the period were shifts were at a premium. I have about 30 bartenders and I'd say 5 of them aren't looking to increase their workload to some degree.

You say she needs more experience, and it looks like she's actively trying to get it. She says she loves her job and is trying and you say nothing to acknowledge that or encourage her in any way. What is her incentive to keep trying? You criticize her attitude, but how long is she supposed to bang her head against the same wall? She has no idea why she's being passed over, and you haven't done anything to help her understand. I think the situation hasn't been effectively managed and that your proposed email can only breed resentment and make things worse.

She says she does, but she hasn't shown me that she's trying. Her efforts at work are underwhelming and I don't consider 4 attempts to pick up shifts banging her head against a wall. If she had spent the month attempting to pick up shifts and being denied, then that would be a valid argument. She waited until the last week of the month to picked up shifts probably because she didn't budget well and realized rent is due (my own assumption). She has had sit down regarding her efforts and what needs to be done to improve

It seems clear you don't value this employee. Why not just let her go and be done with it?

Deetee

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Re: Email response to an employee
« Reply #21 on: September 27, 2012, 02:06:23 PM »
There are two seperate issues. 1) The amount of work she can get versus what she was told she can get. 2) ) Her work ethic and ability.

Regardless of her work ethic and maturity, she needs to know if she has any chance of picking up extra shifts and what she needs to do to get them ( apply earlier in the month, apply for more, have more training, have more seniority)

If she is not getting shifts because she is lazy and bad at her job, she should know that so she can improve or look for a new position or get let go.

AustenFan

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Re: Email response to an employee
« Reply #22 on: September 27, 2012, 02:53:28 PM »
She is looking to pick up 50% more shifts than you hired her to do, based on your recommendation, so a substantial increase. The amount of shifts you had available overall shouldn't override her efforts, and isn't her problem. Are any of your other staff looking to increase their workload by that much?

(Bolding is mine) I'm not sure why you think this? I have a finite number of shifts in order to be cost effective, so the limited number of shifts is her problem. Every member of my staff knew we were in the period were shifts were at a premium. I have about 30 bartenders and I'd say 5 of them aren't looking to increase their workload to some degree.

You say she needs more experience, and it looks like she's actively trying to get it. She says she loves her job and is trying and you say nothing to acknowledge that or encourage her in any way. What is her incentive to keep trying? You criticize her attitude, but how long is she supposed to bang her head against the same wall? She has no idea why she's being passed over, and you haven't done anything to help her understand. I think the situation hasn't been effectively managed and that your proposed email can only breed resentment and make things worse.

She says she does, but she hasn't shown me that she's trying. Her efforts at work are underwhelming and I don't consider 4 attempts to pick up shifts banging her head against a wall. If she had spent the month attempting to pick up shifts and being denied, then that would be a valid argument. She waited until the last week of the month to picked up shifts probably because she didn't budget well and realized rent is due (my own assumption). She has had sit down regarding her efforts and what needs to be done to improve

You seem bound and determined to view this employee in the worst light possible. You told her to pick up shifts. She tried, unsucessfully, and with no feedback why she couldn't. As I said, she tried to pick up 50% more shifts than she agreed to when you hired her, but apparently since she didn't request enough shifts early enough for you she's not trying hard enough.

How many shifts are you going to deny her before we can agree she's banging her head against a wall? It sounds like you have unspoken expectations that she's not living up to, therefore she doesn't deserve the courtesy of a reply that helps her in any way.

For all you know she had an emergency at the end of the month and could have used the money. Or maybe she had unexpected availability at the end of the month and wanted to spend it trying to improve at work. Or maybe it is that she didn't budget properly, but the fact that you jump to the assumption that (again) puts her in the most negative light is very telling.

It sounds like she doesn't have a chance and that you'll "weed her out" as soon as possible, so this is probably an exercise in futility anyway.

Onyx_TKD

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Re: Email response to an employee
« Reply #23 on: September 27, 2012, 03:14:55 PM »
The entire bartending staff is seeking more hours... So honestly the only way I would approve a shift for her would be if she was the only only one trying to pick it up. Which could happen, but with the way the group is fighting for shift probably won't be anytime soon or at least not with a "good" shift.

If that is the case, then tell her that -- as clearly and bluntly as you  put it above. Then she can decide if it's worth continuing to bang her head against the brick wall of the roster or seek more hours at another workplace.

Totally agree. If there really is such a small possibility for her to pick up extra shifts, I think there is an obvious misunderstanding going on that management is partially responsible for. It sounds like she was told/encouraged to pick up more shifts when she was hired... but in reality those shifts are not truly available to her. So she needs to know what realistically is available to her in terms of hours as well as the things she needs to improve.

There were atleast 8 shifts out of the 60 that were released that no one tried to pick up, so its not an impossibility. When she turned in her availability she was told that she would only get 2 days but to try to pick up shifts when she could. It seems a little ridiculous to believe that we wouldn't be telling the other 29 bartenders the same thing.

Is there a pattern to the shifts that don't get picked up? E.g. are the least in-demand shifts usually in week X of the month, or on Tuesdays, etc.? If so, I would include some of that information in the email, assuming that following the advice is actually likely to result in her getting more shifts. Right now you say you would schedule her only if no one else asked for the shift. If she does what you ask her to, e.g., if next month she applies for 10 shifts during the less popular shifts you indicate, would you make sure to schedule her for at least one, even if she isn't the only applicant? Or will she absolutely only get shifts that no one else asks for, even if she is willing to apply for all 60?

If applying for more shifts at less popular times will get results, then I'd suggest something like:
"Please bear in mind that you are not being denied shifts, other people are being approved. Multiple people applied for every shift that you applied for, and only one could be approved. We look at skill level as it relates to the shift, potential for over time, and general availability when making the decision to approve a shift. During your meeting with [Bossman] and me you were told that with your limited availability you would only received about 2 shifts a week. You are correct you were encouraged to pick up shifts. However, during the month of September there were over 60 bartender shifts available to pick up including the one that you released. You only attempted to pick up 4, all during the last week of the month, which is a popular time to pick up extra shifts. Earlier in the month, particularly [on Tuesdays, during week X, etc.], there were at least 8 available shifts that no one applied for. You will be more likely to get an extra shift by applying for more of them and by trying to pick up shifts during less popular times, such as [Tuesdays, during week X, etc.]. Gaining experience and demonstrating good performance during less popular shifts will also increase your chance of being approved for the more popular shifts."

If there are other limitations on shifts, you might want to mention them so she gets a realistic picture. E.g. "As someone hired for only 2 shifts per week, you're unlikely to receive more than 4 extra shifts per month."

DavidH

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Re: Email response to an employee
« Reply #24 on: September 27, 2012, 04:46:32 PM »
If it were me, I'd probably write the following in an email

I'm sorry you feel discouraged about picking up shift.  Shifts are assigned based on a number of factors including skill level, potential for overtime, and availability.  In general, shifts later in the month (or some other detail about them) are more desirable, so it is more likely that you will be able to pick up shifts if you apply for extra ones earlier in the month.  In fact, we had 8 shifts that were not covered last month. (here I'd add something about them if possible so that she would know which ones she is more likely to get) 

In addition, since it is more competitive to get extra shifts during our slow season, the more you improve your skills, the more likely you are to get extra shifts.  I would recommend that you consider ..... to improve your skill set.  I am available on .... to give you some other options.

Jones

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Re: Email response to an employee
« Reply #25 on: September 27, 2012, 05:01:36 PM »
I like DavidH's version.

still in va

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Re: Email response to an employee
« Reply #26 on: September 28, 2012, 05:10:37 PM »
There were atleast 8 shifts out of the 60 that were released that no one tried to pick up, so its not an impossibility. When she turned in her availability she was told that she would only get 2 days but to try to pick up shifts when she could. It seems a little ridiculous to believe that we wouldn't be telling the other 29 bartenders the same thing.

MissManager, i definitely sympathize with trying to schedule people with very limited availability.  used to manage fast food, and i have been there, done that.  to some people, it seems that they expect to work whenever they are available, and don't take into consideration the needs of the business.  or understand that just because they are suddenly available to work, they can't, because someone else already is scheduled. 

i do think you need to sit down with this employee, explain face to face how she needs to go about picking up extra shifts, and that it's possible that someone with more seniority or better work skills may get that shift.  if you want to explain how she can improve her skills, do it face to face as well. 




rain

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Re: Email response to an employee
« Reply #27 on: September 28, 2012, 08:05:02 PM »
ooo - your problem brought back an old memory - of when I was an assistant manager of a small college clothing store (1 of 3)

we had one new worker who said she could only work part time and expected everyones' s work schedules (even the full time workers) to be arranged around her - the manager did it ... when he asked what I thought of her, I told him the truth ... as long as he was there she busted her butt - but if he left/was working at another store she'd spend the entire time talking to friends & wouldn't help/do anything - no mater how busy it got.

The next schedule came out & she walked out, because manager went back to the normal schedule
"oh we thank thee lord for the things we need, like the wind and the rain and the apple seed"

Jocelyn

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Re: Email response to an employee
« Reply #28 on: September 29, 2012, 12:47:41 PM »
I like the suggestions that she be told that shifts are scheduled in a way that benefits the business. She seems unaware that employers aren't interested in being 'fair', if it's detrimental to the business.  She seems to think that it's the employer's job to solve her problems, not vice versa. I'm sure you're right that her interest in working extra shifts is correlated with her having run out of money.  ::)  I once had an employee like that...other people always volunteered to take shifts before she did. If she asked, I'd just remind her that when she was hired, I told her I would not guarantee hours, and she would need to be proactive in volunteering for work. I was going to give the work to the first worker who asked for it, rather than saving some back for her in the hopes she'd call in.