Hi Jane,

The HR Digest - - Q&A With Jane -

I’m a su­per­vi­sor in a na­tion­wide-re­tailer. We have a group of em­ploy­ees (all in their early to mid-twen­ties), who spend a lot of their time do­ing noth­ing at all. They’d just dis­ap­pear for up to an hour some­times. One day, I de­cided to find out what was ac­tu­ally go­ing on by fol­low­ing them. Ap­par­ently, this group had built a ‘blan­ket fort’ be­hind the dump­sters, where they’d just chill out. Now, I de­cided to rep­ri­mand them for their ac­tion. Since then, they are ac­tu­ally do­ing their jobs prop­erly. Some­how, the area man­ager got a whiff of this, and now he wants me to fire this group of em­ploy­ees. Be­cause I’ve al­ready taken ac­tion over this be­fore, I don’t know how it will look on me if I bring this up again. Help!


Firstly, do re­mem­ber that it is your job to cor­rect some­one if they are not co-op­er­at­ing with the of­fice pro­to­cols. In terms of this in­ci­dent, I feel that fir­ing them is not nec­es­sary un­less they re­peat their mis­takes as you have al­ready taken ac­tion against them. Also, they are abid­ing by the rules and work­ing ef­fi­ciently. In this case, what you can do is that ex­plain to the area man­ager that you have taken ac­tion against them in the past and now they are be­hav­ing them­selves. Make him un­der­stand that if those em­ploy­ees step out of line again, you’ll make sure they are fired. As­sure him that you will keep a close eye on them now on­wards. On the other hand, in­form those em­ploy­ees that the area man­ager is aware of their ac­tiv­i­ties. This will stop them from re­peat­ing such be­hav­ior and keep them fo­cused on their work.

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