Dear Evil Skippy: Should I Change My Employee’s Hours?
One of my employees asked me if she can change her work schedule. She rides the bus to work and her route’s schedule is going to change in a few weeks. Her choice will be to either arrive at work 90 minutes early, or be twenty minutes late. She has day care issues, so this is creating logistical problems for her. I sympathize with her about this and I want to support use of mass transit. I passed my employee’s request along to my manager and she said we could not modify my employee’s schedule. I agree that modifying the schedule would be a bit of a hassle, but we could make it work. This is one of my better employees and I would like to help her if possible. How can I change my manager’s mind?
– Supportive Supervisor
Why don’t you just pick her up in the morning and drive her? That would really be supportive and you would not have to mess with human resources. Problem solved.
– Evil Skippy
I bet you don’t want to do that. I know that I wouldn’t. I have a difficult enough time dragging myself out of bed and getting out the door for appointments without having to stop for anyone else along the way.
Before you think about asking your manager to reconsider, you need to ask yourself a very important question. If you modify this employee’s schedule and later a few other employees need a similar arrangement, would you be willing and able to do so? If not, you now know why your manager refused the request. Some workplaces are suitable for flexible employee schedules, others are not. Even where flex time is possible, there are some positions that need to stick to a more rigid schedule.
If you would be willing to let all of your employees tweak their working hours, then by all means appeal to your manager for reconsideration. It is not a good idea to grant a special favor (especially one that everyone else will notice) to one employee that can’t be granted to all.
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