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    What do you do when employees don’t follow the schedule?

    Q: "I make the schedule and it gets posted to our Facebook page sometime late Sunday for the next day. My employees aren't responding on time with their availability or simply not showing up, or they tell me they read the schedule wrong. But I only schedule for people who show up.

    A: I think your question is what do you do when employees don't follow a schedule? We always have that problem, right?

    So the couple of things that I always found is, always have a two-week schedule, and if you really have this problem you can have them sign off on it that they saw it.

    But I think ultimately having a Facebook page for your staff and then saying they didn't see it is really dangerous. I know a lot of you do that but they can always come back and say, "Oh, I didn't see it," or "My phone didn't work."

    There's always the dog ate my homework excuse. So wherever you can thwart that, right, so you give them a schedule when they get paid, you give them a schedule and they have to all sign on to it.

    There are scheduling apps out there, and I think some work well and some don't. The challenge is that John who's new wants to change with Jane who's really seasoned, and unless you put filters in there, they're able to switch.

    And now you have someone who is highly compensated just covering for someone who isn't, or vice versa, someone who's highly compensated being covered for by someone who doesn't really know what's going on in the store. 

    But my advice is, especially as you come to the end of the year is you make your schedule for the rest of the year. You know what your store hours are, they should be posted by now. So everybody knows, you know, we're open the day of Christmas, we're gonna close at 4, whatever.

    You have a holiday party, that should be out there right now. Everybody should see it. If there's any questions about availability, they need to put them in writing to you by November 1st. And if they don't, then they're going to have to take luck-of-the-draw shifts, something like that.

    But you have to be on top of the schedule. I always use an example in my speeches, have you ever seen a dog walking down the street, wagging its tail? Well, remember, you're the dog, the tail is the employees.

    And I know that sounds a little tough, but the reality is too many times we're letting the tail wag the dog, and then we're upset. Well, yeah, imagine if you were the dog being wagged by the tail, that causes a lot of stress. We don't like that.

    Get on top of it and hold their feet to the fire, if somebody doesn't show up, that's a written warning. If they're late five minutes that's another written warning. Each time you're saying it's going to result in less hours or they may be let go, and get their signature on it.

    Don't think I'm being cautious "Oh, you know, he's got a sick kid at home," because if you have a varying degree, and God forbid you go to the labor department and someone sues you for unemployment and they say, "Well, you know, she let him get away with it but she didn't let her get away with it." And now you have a double standard and that is indefensible.

    So, use your spine, that's what is there for, you're paid to make the tough decisions, not to be someone's friend.

    And that also goes back to also not hiring your friends unless you're willing to fire them. So there you go."

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