How to manage an 18 year old assistant effectively?

redlottie13

JUST BE NICE
#21
Hi Redlottie

We had a tricky situation with our first apprentice. She worked for us for a year part-time before she started her apprenticeship so we knew her. We also knew that she was in a very poor personal situation and we felt very sorry for her. Unfortunately she started turning up for work late and smelly. Then phoning in for work sick. Then turning up late saying that she was sick. Then announcing that she was pregnant. Then not turning up for work at all.

Trouble was, when clean and freshly washed she was great. Clients liked her, we liked her, she seemed very mature and sensible. Her work was excellent. It was frustrating to see her ruining her chance for a better life.

You can't save everyone. She had to go and she has. The way I see it, apprentices teach you how to be the Boss.
Very much so.

Now this girl has been given final warning this week. And she's skating on thin ice.
The ONLY reason she has stayed is because she admitted everything (with much hassle actually )

Then this morning texts me, I'm sick.

She has done this on a very very busy day and has only done this because my beauty therapist was sick on Tuesday (a different illness my assistant doesn't know about)

& She thinks she's treated differently to everyone else , well yeah she of course because no one else does this!
And the way I learn Is that you go in and if your that sick you get sent home x
 

TheDuchess

Well-Known Member
#22
Check social media. We had an apprentice (different one) ask for time off and we said no, explaining that we needed her in that day. She came in saying that she was ill and coughing. She actually coughed until she retched in front of a client. So we sent her home. Photo of her new tattoo appeared on snap chat later that day...

I never mentioned it to her. I just fired her on grounds that she hadn't passed probationary period, with full support of her tutor.

We have had girls call in sick and we have told them that they have to come in. We offer, have a sleep, come iin a couple of hours late. Or come in until 1 and go home if you feel worse. Once we see them on a day when they called in sick we can assess whether they really needed a day off. We do it kindly. We explain that calling in sick can cost you your job so you have to learn how to work when you are feeling under the weather. We explain that we have to teach you how to be tough.

A lot of girls go into hair and beauty because they didn't do well at school. And often the reason is absenteeism. Some girls have rubbish periods. But they have to learn to toughen up.

This is not the same as discriminating against disability, that's totally not the same thing as calling in sick because you went to bed late.
 

#23
Please let me hope I never have to work for you duchess making staff come in when they are sick, Shame on you.
Yes sometimes it’s very unfortunate when your busy but someone’s health is far more important and forcing someone to come into work regardless if you think they are bluffing or not is so wrong. I wouldn’t dream of making any staff come in unwell even to asses if you think they are fit to work or not.
Genuinely shocked people still go on like this, I worked in a salon and this happened to myself and I had to go into work and I felt and look horrendous. You want respect from people then give a little back.
 

Traveller75

Active Member
#24
Honestly, I'm pretty shocked by your post too duchess. I've worked with lots of young people over the years and I'd never have forced them to come in if they called in sick.

Yes I know sometimes it's fake and if there was a pattern of absences then we'd take the appropriate action by initiating the disciplinary process, but we'd try to find out if there was a problem at work, a reason why they were missing days. But I certainly would not have felt I could assess their illness, I'm not a doctor.

I understand it's frustrating when you're busy and someone's called in sick and you know it's probably put on, but you just manage and get on as best you can.

We had a very low absence rate and retained the same staff for years.

No one cares about your business as much as you, but a friendly, caring, respectful environment breeds a sense of responsibility in staff and they start to care more as they feel part of something.
 

BannerPenguin

Well-Known Member
#25
Please let me hope I never have to work for you duchess making staff come in when they are sick, Shame on you.
Yes sometimes it’s very unfortunate when your busy but someone’s health is far more important and forcing someone to come into work regardless if you think they are bluffing or not is so wrong. I wouldn’t dream of making any staff come in unwell even to asses if you think they are fit to work or not.
Genuinely shocked people still go on like this, I worked in a salon and this happened to myself and I had to go into work and I felt and look horrendous. You want respect from people then give a little back.
To be fair that's pretty much how 99% of corporate positions run. My wife works in a bank and she has to go in to be sent home if she's bad.
 

charlottehair

Extension Queen
#26
Check social media. We had an apprentice (different one) ask for time off and we said no, explaining that we needed her in that day. She came in saying that she was ill and coughing. She actually coughed until she retched in front of a client. So we sent her home. Photo of her new tattoo appeared on snap chat later that day...

I never mentioned it to her. I just fired her on grounds that she hadn't passed probationary period, with full support of her tutor.

We have had girls call in sick and we have told them that they have to come in. We offer, have a sleep, come iin a couple of hours late. Or come in until 1 and go home if you feel worse. Once we see them on a day when they called in sick we can assess whether they really needed a day off. We do it kindly. We explain that calling in sick can cost you your job so you have to learn how to work when you are feeling under the weather. We explain that we have to teach you how to be tough.
This is really awful, I worked in a company where you could only go sick 3 times in a 12 month period and was put on level one two and three and you are eventually fired. It is ridiculous to ridicule someone being ill. I totally understand you are saying that some people are able to work when they are ill, but at the end of the day if the person doesn't want to work because they are ill, they shouldn't have too.

Yes people lie and claim they are ill when they aren't but thats a pattern you have to recognise and deal with in a sufficient and effective disciplinary way. If your staff are lying to you and going out posting on snapchat when they are supposedly ill, there must be a fundamental lying problem within work and they might not want to be there.
 

Haircutz

Super Moderator
Staff member
#27
Yes people lie and claim they are ill when they aren't but thats a pattern you have to recognise and deal with in a sufficient and effective disciplinary way. If your staff are lying to you and going out posting on snapchat when they are supposedly ill, there must be a fundamental lying problem within work and they might not want to be there.
I think you mean there’s a fundamental lying problem with that individual.
If there’s a genuine issue at work, any sensible employee would want to resolve the issue and that would require them acting like an adult and raising it as an issue, at work.

Staff who take sickies then post about their stupid exploits on social media cannot in all conscience claim that work related stress led them to acting like a total eeejit. :rolleyes:

I hate this horrible sense of entitlement that some people seem to have grown up with.
There are clear consequences to poor behaviour that ultimately leads to unemployment and dismal longer term prospects. That is, until the individual acknowledges that they and they alone are responsible for their own successes and failures in life.
 

redlottie13

JUST BE NICE
#28
The way I was bought up if your that Ill you go in and your boss will see and appreciate your effort, But send you home.
My boss 3 years ago took one look at me and said "get out of here you are grey and your scaring clients!"

Turns out I was actually really poorly and ended up in hospital. They were fantastic with me and supported me ten fold!

However if I'd have called in sick they may have thought I was putting it on.

This girl did come in 2 hours late in the end but....guess what, she never wore make up (for effect I presume) but was fine!!
 

JCH

Member
#29
I remember calling in sick to a workplace due to mental health reasons many times (talking self harm level). Was told I had to come in anyway. I did and was accused of pretending to be ill because I didn’t have a sickness or cold etc but I couldn’t bare to tell these people what was really going on due to the way they’d already treated me. The whole situation ended very badly. Just saying, it’s not as obvious you might think to know if someone is ill or not.
 

TheDuchess

Well-Known Member
#30
Of course I don't drag people into work when they are sick! Most of the time I'm shooing them out of the door saying "go home, we can manage, don't come in tomorrow either". My remarks were admittedly poorly expressed but they were in the contest of the OP's issue regarding managing a difficult teenaged apprentice with a poor attitude and work ethic.

Haircutz has given some excellent advice about the importance of recruiting staff with the right attitude and using the probation period to assess suitability and cultural fit for your team.

We have a holiday policy to make sure that everyone is treated fairly. Pulling a fake sickie on a day when you've asked, at short notice, for holiday and been refused for reasons clearly covered by the holiday policy has to be tackled because it upsets the team if one person breaks the rules by lying.

The bottom line is that if someone calls in sick 3 times or more in less than a year, this is a problem for the business because it's very stressful covering for an unexpectedly absent colleague and it's expensive blocking out a column for additional days because you're not sure when your sick team member will return. We may be very sympathetic, but we have to cover the bills and manage staff fairly. It is not fair to overwork your team because you've recruited an unreliable person.

When absenteeism is an issue we explain that this puts your job st risk and we ask what we can do to help. Some young women get exhausted easily and some have an awful lot to deal with and some have time of the month issues and simply need a day off once a month. We are sympathetic to their support needs.

Once we see them on a day when they called in sick we can assess whether they really needed a day off
I phrased this badly, and it is in the context that we were supporting a teenage apprentice who was on notice that they risked of losing their job over absenteeism. The support that we agreed with them was that we would discuss ways that they could work rather than simply call in sick all the time.

We have supported staff with all sorts of health issues and social disadvantages, including severe disability and psychological concerns. They all felt better coming to work rather than being at home and we had to send them home if they were sick.

In general, people who are struggling with mental health problems are better off coming into work, rather than staying at home, unless the work is what is making them sick - in which case they need to change their job. This may sound harsh, but it is at least practical advice.

The original post is about managing young apprentices, not ways to tackle sickness absence /support staff with health concerns. My remarks have been taken out of context.
 

TheDuchess

Well-Known Member
#31
JCH that must have been a terrible time for you. Sending hugs and warm thoughts. Unfortunately some employers just don't know how to build a team or support their staff properly. Lots of businesses are still stuck in a 70's management style time warp.

I hope you're in a better place now. Not every job works out sadly. It's about teams and sometimes you can recruit a great person and find that they just don't gel with the team. It's really hard when that happens and there isn't always a way to fix the issues that will work for all concerned.

The great thing about beauty is that there are so many different ways to earn a living that there's something for everyone.
 

redlottie13

JUST BE NICE
#32
Of course I don't drag people into work when they are sick! Most of the time I'm shooing them out of the door saying "go home, we can manage, don't come in tomorrow either". My remarks were admittedly poorly expressed but they were in the contest of the OP's issue regarding managing a difficult teenaged apprentice with a poor attitude and work ethic.

Haircutz has given some excellent advice about the importance of recruiting staff with the right attitude and using the probation period to assess suitability and cultural fit for your team.

We have a holiday policy to make sure that everyone is treated fairly. Pulling a fake sickie on a day when you've asked, at short notice, for holiday and been refused for reasons clearly covered by the holiday policy has to be tackled because it upsets the team if one person breaks the rules by lying.

The bottom line is that if someone calls in sick 3 times or more in less than a year, this is a problem for the business because it's very stressful covering for an unexpectedly absent colleague and it's expensive blocking out a column for additional days because you're not sure when your sick team member will return. We may be very sympathetic, but we have to cover the bills and manage staff fairly. It is not fair to overwork your team because you've recruited an unreliable person.

When absenteeism is an issue we explain that this puts your job st risk and we ask what we can do to help. Some young women get exhausted easily and some have an awful lot to deal with and some have time of the month issues and simply need a day off once a month. We are sympathetic to their support needs.



I phrased this badly, and it is in the context that we were supporting a teenage apprentice who was on notice that they risked of losing their job over absenteeism. The support that we agreed with them was that we would discuss ways that they could work rather than simply call in sick all the time.

We have supported staff with all sorts of health issues and social disadvantages, including severe disability and psychological concerns. They all felt better coming to work rather than being at home and we had to send them home if they were sick.

In general, people who are struggling with mental health problems are better off coming into work, rather than staying at home, unless the work is what is making them sick - in which case they need to change their job. This may sound harsh, but it is at least practical advice.

The original post is about managing young apprentices, not ways to tackle sickness absence /support staff with health concerns. My remarks have been taken out of context.
Couldn't agree more.

With exception of course!
But certain youngsters have a lot to learn and their sense of entitlement is ridiculous.

I have three girls including myself who suffer mental health at my salon and we have a open door policy. I speak openly about mine and they have all been supported individually.

She is trouble and wasn't Ill, or suffering with her mental health.

She's a liar (she also lied about her boyfriend going getting beaten up & going missing last month and apparently there was a police search.
.........problem is she doesnt realise who I'm related to and when asked, my relation told me what she said was not protocol and absolute bull*. I still haven't told her I know!
 
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