My employee seems to be sick on Fridays and Mondays

In a recent tennis match, one of my teammates was angry after his match. He lost and felt the other team didn't really play tennis. He said all they did was lob the ball, it wasn't fun. But it was a strategy which is legal and obviously worked.

Similarly, having an employee who seems to be sick right before or after a weekend could be very frustrating. It leads to all sorts of conclusions, doesn't it?

Let's face it; we don't think they're sick, do we?

So, what can you do about it? If your company has policies they are in alignment with, in other words, if they are within corporate policy guidelines, there really is nothing you can do to stop them.

But that's not fair. It doesn't set a good example to the rest of the team.

But it's legal. If you're company set policies which the employee is following, unless you are in a position to change the policy, you need to live by them.

But I don't trust them. They are getting away with something and I don't like it.

Ah, the challenges of being a manager or business owner with employees!

So what can you do?

Change your question to change your focus.

Your focus is completely subjective and attempting to come up with solutions based on your subjectivity will lead to increased frustration and no results.

So objectively - what's the issue with the employee being out? Are they doing their work?

If the answer is yes, but they could be doing more, you need to define the "more."

If the answer is yes, but it's not fair, then what you need to do is let go - this is your issue, causing you frustration, anger, stress or whatever unpleasantness you're experiencing. I know this is easier said then done; one of the biggest challenges for managers is to put their personal values aside.

If the answer is no, what aren't they doing? Focus on that - if it's a measurable goal already in writing, use that for reference. If its not, get it in writing and get it in their performance plan!

When you have frustrating situations and you ask yourself questions which help shift your focus:

  • You can shift from an issue with no answers to something with an objective measurement
  • You can let go of personal frustration
  • You can focus on results


 Howard Miller teaches management skills to new managers, seasoned managers, entrepreneurs and executives.  He is on the faculty of AMA (American Management Association) and teaches courses including Skills for New Managers, Increasing Managerial Effectiveness, and Successfully Managing People).  Topics include delegation and motivation methodologies, conflict, how to deal with difficult people, understanding values and behavior, feedback and listenin...

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