Hearing bodega’s drug policy seemed kind of harsh when I heard him speak at a recent pizza summit. Now i’m ready to side with him , why ? It seems quite a few of my new employees ( we’ve been open 10 weeks) get stoned every day, they make so many mistakes i’m getting frustrated, pot is legal here in colorado springs. Seems i’m only getting 2/3 of their minds and attention, then there is the speedsters running around making mistakes left and right while completing half their tasks and then moving on to something else. One kid was so tweaked on meth he couldn’t even talk to me ! I am an ex druggie - clean 16 years, so i have compassion for these people, i give my anti drug speech and they agree 100% with no results , employees were going outside for cigarette breaks and drinking and drugs while on shift, fired half of them but would need to close if i fired all ! Being attacked by drug zombies need help, any suggestions welcome
I just had another one sent to court ordered rehab yesterday…I find the best way to find good & “clean” crew is to lean on your top staff to recruit their friends. Yesterday, I had that guy “call out” plus another 2 that were sick and found 2 drivers via a mass text to my other drivers and had to guys start on Friday at 5pm. I give them $100 after their referral is still here after 6 months. One guy has received over $1000 the past few years
What you tolerate you will get more of. If you let people arrive late or no-show without consequences the other employees see that and think “that’s allowed”. The same is true with drug use.
Furthermore, if you do not act on drug use and it can be shown that you were aware of it and later a stoned employee causes a car accident or some other incident YOU can be be held negligent for knowingly allowing a stoned person to drive etc etc.
Mistakes cost money and loose customers.
The risks and the costs are simply too big to ignore.
Good employees who do not get stoned at work do not want to be around stoned employees… i.e. in the end you can’t have both kinds. Customers do not want to be around a business with stoners either… they will head to the national franchise down the street where the employees wear uniforms.
With all that said, our strict policy which has been in place 15 years (No drugs or alcohol at work, can’t be intoxicated at work. You will be fired the first time. Managers who do not enforce this policy when they are aware of the drug or alcohol use will be fired too.) has only ever had to be enforced two times. (One for pot about 10 years ago and once for alcohol 2 years ago)
I do talk about it often and explain why we have the policy in a way that does NOT say use is wrong or immoral, just that it is not allowed at work and why. I have not found that employees are confused about it. A couple of times I have smelled pot near the employee coat rack. When I do, I tell the manager that I noticed it and that I will be leaving the store to do an errand and to please take care of it. When this has happened I generally have no issues for another year or so. I am sure the manager has similarly addressed the issue that I am not aware of from time to time.
I am sure that many of my employees smoke pot (remember, it’s legal here) just as many will have a beer or two or three after work. That is not my business as long as it does not come to work. Our policy for pot is exactly the same as it is for alcohol and for the same reasons; it is destructive to the work environment, it is a liability issue and it repels customers. It is not some moral issue, it is simple business sense and liability management.
With the number of new employees we have each winter due to the business cycle here, this needs to be addressed often… it is not some fire and forget policy but it has worked well for us. I think it respects the choices of the employees and respects them as individuals because the reasons for it are explained in a non-judgmental way.
I had a drunk on my staff for a few months, I had to let him go. Not only was he screwing things up, his reputation of the town drunk was detrimental to our reputation.
I see someone walk in here with eyes that look like two pee-holes in the snow, they get sent home. I do not care if I need to scale back my menu, or close, I have zero tolerance after me tolerating it for one summer.
I love seeing our crew out and about with their logo’d crew clothes on, but I also have a policy that if I see them at a bar wearing company clothes, they get one warning, and done.
To me, the image they present out of work while advertising the business on their backs is just as important as when they are here. So being drunk and stupid emblazoned with our logo is a no-go.
Yeah, it may seem harsh, but I try to surround myself with responsible professionals, they rate at which they are getting paid makes them understand, and they do not have a problem with it. They may get half the pay elsewhere
Because we hire/train people with disabilities our workers, both disabled and non disabled, come to us for the cause with honest, clean and sober, caring, energy. All but one of our non disabled employees/volunteers have college degrees/are professional culinary people. They come for the cause and bring wonderful energy of joy and hope. Our customers come to support our cause or come because they have heard of our pizza. Once the pizza lovers learn of the cause they are very supportive and the people that come to support the cause are amazed how good the food is. We get lots of phone calls after people get home with their take out pies to say how good the food is and most customers thank us for what we are doing for humanity. A typical scenario is a person pays a $30 bill and puts $20-$100 in the tip jar for our employees. In 4 months of being open we only have gotten 1 complaint. Our Yelp/facebook ratings are 5 stars and we have not had an employee quit/be fired. We offer no specials, spend no $ on advertising, take no requests, no delivery, no booze, no TV’s, no music, and our business is busting at the seams. When we are short staffed there are many chef’s, who volunteer their services. We had one do this last night. If you hire/train even just a couple people with disabilities it will swing this energy your way and that drugged, boozed, thief, poor work ethic,energy will go elsewhere for work . Walter
I am thrilled that everything is working our for you, I have tried bringing a few developmentally disabled individuals into our operation, they even had job coaches with them for 3-4 weeks, it just did not work out.
We had some situations take place where it could have been very easy that someone would have been seriously injured, and I was not willing to take that chance,
If I had the ability for someone to supervise them without any interruption to keep them on task and safe, I may reconsider trying it again.
I will not go into details now, but I will share if you are interested in knowing,
Are you up to your buttcrack in government paperwork in regards to employing special needs crew? That was something else that got overwhelming for us. It was like they made it 10X more difficult for us to employ these people.
GotRocks: Thank you for trying and I am sorry it didn’t work out. I understand how all that would be too much to deal with. I agree the system makes it easier for these people to remain unemployed and in nothingness instead of gainfully employed. Sadly the people that are paid to watch over people with disabilities do the worst job at it. It is in the wiring of our system of government that people with disabilities are best not discussed and shunned to a life of nothingness. In one year(I started the process before we moved to Reno) of developing relationships with the government agencies that serve people with disabilities we have gotten 1 trainee to date in an area that has a population of almost 500,000 and I know how to work with these agencies as it was a daily part of my teaching job . The other 5 people with disabilities we have came from their families coming in and not wanting to work with the government agencies. This is the route we are most happy with as they come with strong support systems. We now have enough trained that they train the new ones. My background as a special education teacher for 25 years has taught me to be able to identify the profile we are looking for in employees and if a school district offered me a million dollars a year to teach again I would tell them they are about 6 billion short. It is a crime to humanity how we deal with people with disabilities. This is why our place is so successful- the average person wants to help but doesn’t know how but by buying a pizza they are changing this scenario in real time so to speak as they get to see their giving working in front of their eyes. I wish I could magically clone my system and share it with the business world. Walter