Employee discipline

just curious to how everyone deals with day to day employee infractions, such as forgetting an item for an order or being late for their scheduled time, or forgetting to do something during the closing routine.

we have tried a couple things in the past but nothing really stuck.

the issue is that im sure like everyone on here we are a small business and we do not have the turnover like a mcdonalds or something like that where you can just fire people and have twenty applications waiting. training a new person is not always the best option, i know we are all humans and mistakes will happen but i need a way for people to be accountable. im open to any suggestions, thanks.

My opinion on this is that everyone can forget things or make mistakes. They need to learn from their own mistakes. This applies to mistakes and NOT to being late. Ok… so you are late by a few minutes. Call and tell the mgr or whomever that is the case. Happens 2-3 days a month… get written up. Happens 2-3 times a week and you have no respect for your job, the other employees, or the people providing your paycheck. Yes it is a pain to train a replacement after finding one… but this is the job you have chosen so either do it or be prepared to find another one. A side note… get a well written and legally verified employee handbook and have a written policy for you or your mgrs to follow in addressing these situations…and all the other good ones!

Forgetting an item is a training issue not a discipline issue. If the employee learns and does not make mistakes going forward… no big deal. If they keep doing it we get rid of them. That is what an initial probabtionary period for new employees is for.

Closing routine is the manager’s responsibility. I don’t care who did not pull the makeline away from the wall and clean under it, it is the manager I am going to talk to about it same goes for counting the till and the deposit or turning off the ovens for the night. I pay managers a bonus every pay period. When basic manager responsibilities are missed it costs them money.

Regularly late employees are ex-employees. You can not put up with it, because what you put up with you will see more of. Never think that the other employees do not notice when nothing is said about a late arrival. Pretty soon, everyone knows it is OK to be late.

We’ve actually had a new guy start recently and i pull him on every mistake to try and stamp it out. I let absolutely nothing slide whether it be coming into work a few minutes late or not putting enough pepperoni on a pizza. He probably thinks i’m being really hard on him but i know its right for my business to keep a tight reign on things. The way i see it he’ll be a great employee in 6 months time because i’ve paid attention to every minor detail. I think the other staff see me being very particular with him and its a little reminder for them that im always watching and keeping an eye on things.

Most people remember, but it bears saying: it is almost more important to praise/reinforce the DESIRED behaviors than hammering incorrect. Hammering and hammering mistakes does not teach correct behaviors; it highlights the problem. Spend more time highlighting the high end and stellar performances than “correcting” the bad. Bottom line, if the employee eliminated the wrong behavior completely with the wave of a wand, what would replace it? You be sure you are there shouting the praises of the behaviors you want inserted.

Very good point Nick. One thing that our HR mgr was great at was when employee issues that warranted higher intervention we seen he would make sure… to a point… that any negative issues were countered with positive ones. Now this also applies to the line leads and plant or production mgrs for us… they get training to specifically praise good work. I am not saying 10 times a day telling the pizza maker he/she is great… but take notice to constant and regular behavior and you will be surprised at how far a “You’re doing a great job” can go. Before we expanded to the level where machines started to take over as we needed the production output… you had to learn how to make sure the employees were happy and stayed. When asking them to work 80 hours+ per week…and yes overtime killed us but two things were at play. First… we treated, paid, gave benefits, etc… to the employees that were not seen in this town. We have major union ops in town here… Pepsi… Quaker Oats… General Mills… and the teamsters tried every year to takeover. Never got close! He was looking into the future not the minute at hand. The second reason for all the hard hours was that the money to expand was not all there yet and the equipment that we needed really did not exsist in totality.

One point that just came to mind is… although it is good to follow up a negative with a positive… do not follow up a good remark with a “BUT”!!! Let the employee feel good for what they do. They will tell the others… “hey, ‘the owner/mgr’, whomever, just told me how great I was doing… picking up on things… helping teach the new guy… etc…” and it will stick in all their minds in the long run. Raises or bonuses that reflect their own actions and when emp1 gets twice the raise as emp2… and we all know how well they keep wages to themselves… ROTFLMFAO! Sorry had to use that once… but the smart employee will try harder or maybe let’s say better so as to receive the notice both in on the job and reflected in their compensation.

The real bottom line is that this is not easy and has to be an ongoing work in progress at all times. Look at current posts around here and you see new ops that take off… some seasoned ones that need tweaked a bit… and others that you want to say save your money and go get a job! It would be great to sit back and let it all run itself and you can do that… but it is doubtful you will grow at any great rate if at all. The real sad reality is that some will work themselves to death and still fail… while others get lucky but then get arrogant to a point that their own lack of working at their own business will catch up and usually self correct itself… and not in a good way!

Some day, I’d like to make a machine that makes a finished, perfect pizza according to the button you pushed at the register when you took the order. An automated pizza shop. It forms the dough, adds toppings, bakes, cuts, boxes and marks the box.

The PizzaMaster 2000!

All employee problems would be solved.

I’ll let you know when it’s ready, Birdman.

Tombstone has that machine…just a little costly for an indie!!! :wink: Now dare I ask… the robotic delivery driver? :stuck_out_tongue: Why not… they are testing self driven cars… just wait for your pizza to show up… slide your credit card on the door mounted reader that then allows access to your order in its own warming compartment. Uses gps to get there. No detours. Works all available hours. Car always kept up… does not require subwoofer to get there! :roll: Now I am onto something!!! 8) Oh, and no tips just a flat delivery fee to cover the store owned robotic car… electric of course! Plug it in when not on runs… no gas. Hmm…this has serious possibilities! :idea:

Pizza in the future…read Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson…Pizza delivery drivers with a license to do whatever it takes to get the pizza there on time!

This thread has been edited and locked. Please use the Think Tank as a place for constructive discussion instead of a forum for arguing.

Thank you,
Liz Barrett
PMQ Pizza Magazine