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That actually being good a your job comes second to your absence record.

(106 Posts)
Dollymixtureyumyum Thu 19-Nov-15 12:46:29

Just come to the end of my six month probation period at work, 3 other staff do the same job and we work as a team.
Due to having to go into hospital for a chest infection I was off for 3 days, another of my colleagues was off for four days with bad sickness.
Me and this collegeue have met and greatly exceeded our targets dispite being off and have had great evaluations from our clients, not had one bad one.
Two other colleagues have has no time off but have not met two of their targets and one even had two clients complain about his attitude. Their evaluation scores are not as high as me and colleague who has been off.
Guess which two have passed their probation period and which two have had theirs extended!!!
It's just so frustrating it was the same in my last job if you managed to get your arse in all year you got a bonus no matter how crap you where at the job. No bonus for actually meeting targets and being good.
Now I see schools are going the same way. I was off for most of my first two years of high school in and out of hospital for operation and I still came out with 10 GCSEs at grade C and over. Yet if a kid has two weeks off all hell breaks lose with nasty letters and warnings about attendance targets.
People get ill, it is a fact of life. Of course some people take the piss with absence and they should of course be delt with but I really think firms and schools need to realise that the majority of people only take time off when they absolutely need to and to not put (reasonable) absence levels above performance.

Floggingmolly Thu 19-Nov-15 12:48:53

Two complaints from clients about his attitude and he passed his probation period?? shock It'll serve them right if he runs amok and becomes a total liability just when it'll cost them dearly to get rid of him.

KeepOnMoving1 Thu 19-Nov-15 12:49:14

Were you told that this was the reason for not passing the probation?

WorraLiberty Thu 19-Nov-15 12:51:34

I'm not sure really.

If you had 2 employees and one was brilliant at their job but absent a lot, and the other was 'ok' at their job but in work a lot more...the management could probably work to improve the skills of the second person, meaning that they may well end up with a brilliant worker who is in work every day.

I'm sorry you've been sick, but I have to disagree that being good at your job should necessarily be more important than your absence record.

buymeabook Thu 19-Nov-15 12:52:19

It's the company's way of scaring people off from taking time off when ill. They are therefore a crap company.

Dollymixtureyumyum Thu 19-Nov-15 12:52:27

Yes basically great at the job, all targets met and most exceeded but they have concerns re my absence record. (The fact I was in hospital hooked up to a drip does not seem to matter)

Dollymixtureyumyum Thu 19-Nov-15 12:56:12

Well in my last job as I said you got a bonus for being in all year. But if it was a choice between someone who had been off for a few weeks each year but was good at their job and met and exceeded targets and someone who came in but was not effective i know which one i would choose.

WorraLiberty Thu 19-Nov-15 12:59:30

Yes but surely that would be thinking short term?

Long term, the person who comes in every day but is less effective, may well respond to training and they'll also gain experience faster.

Therefore by the end of the following year, they could be much better at their job.

hiccupgirl Thu 19-Nov-15 13:00:39

I completely agree OP. Obviously there are some people who take the mickey and are off a lot when they don't need to be but most people who take absence from work are off because they really need to be.

I would rather have someone whose had a few days off for a valid reason but works hard and does a good job than someone who isn't good at their job but it there all the time.

Dollymixtureyumyum Thu 19-Nov-15 13:00:53

And I agree Worra that a big amount of absence is no good for a company but i am talking about bare minimum absence with dam good reason. I mean I could have dragged myself into work instead of being in hospital but I prob would have more and more ill and eventually possibly died!!! Ok that is dramatic but probably true as I had a chest infections and blood poisoning

KittyVonCatsworth Thu 19-Nov-15 13:01:42

What Worra said basically.

I had this one guy who, technically, was great at his job but he was unreliable. I allowed them to work flexi time on the proviso they fell into a pattern that meant they arrived and left roughly the same time each day and took their flexi day every other week.

This in itself was a fecking nightmare where he was concerned (rocking up at 10am, flitting off at 4pm, still taking flexis) but combined with the frequent illness, dental appointments, car issues, childcare issues meant that I revoked all flexi working for everyone (who weren't as knowledgable or experienced as him) and sacked him after the extended probationary period. I spent so much time addressing his absences and timekeeping that the rest of the team suffered.

I also found that generally people will default to the lowest / less desirable behaviour and when one is getting away with it, it doesn't take long for the rot to set in.

I appreciate this isn't exactly your situation, but my managers hat says that I'm afraid.

WorraLiberty Thu 19-Nov-15 13:02:16

I hope you're feeling better now thanks chocolate

Dollymixtureyumyum Thu 19-Nov-15 13:04:15

I would also be thinking that long term chances are dolly will probably not end up in hospital again with a chest infection and things like that don't happen to the same person very often maybe three, four times in a lifetime if unluckily.

slightlyglitterpaned Thu 19-Nov-15 13:08:35

It's not weeks though, it's one absence per person, of 3-4 days - this wouldn't even register as a concern for anywhere I've worked.

Compared to having such a bad attiude that OP's colleague picked up TWO client complaints - that's NOT a training issue. I would get rid in a heartbeat for that, they don't get better, just more cocky.

Dollymixtureyumyum Thu 19-Nov-15 13:09:00

Thanks Worra smile
Yep I totally understand reliability and stuff but I am talking about people who do not take the piss and are only maybe off a week in a year but work bloody hard and well for the rest of the year who see their crap colleague who just about manages to do just enough to keep his job get a bonus for sitting at his desk all year doing the bare minimum.
I am just a bit mad because one of my colleagues is really really bad not just work but attitude as well as he has got through!!!

Dollymixtureyumyum Thu 19-Nov-15 13:11:39

I guess though it's a case if those who have taken the piss with absence have ruined it for the rest of us. Will just have to grit my teeth and get my backside into work no matter what.

AnnaMarlowe Thu 19-Nov-15 13:12:16

The problem Dolly is that this isn't necessarily true:

"the majority of people only take time off when they absolutely need to"

Or at least definitions of "absolutely need to" vary widely.

I've had fantastic employees who take a day off for every single cold. That's not acceptable, regardless of how much I like them or how good at their job they were.

Now I appreciate that your were very ill but in fairness to the employer 3 sick days in 6 months is quite high. There will be lots of people who haven't had 3 days off in 6 years.

I know it feels unfair but the employer needs someone there to do the job - if you aren't there it costs them money.

Dollymixtureyumyum Thu 19-Nov-15 13:14:10

And if I have the deadly lurgy at any point and am dying at my desk just make sure I cough in his directionwink

Dollymixtureyumyum Thu 19-Nov-15 13:17:23

Thanks for your thoughts it is interesting to get all perspectives. I am guessing that if everyone only took time off when they really really needed to companies would be more tolerant.
It's just annoying when you know there was no way you could have come in and you just got unlucky.

I do think this bad practice by the company. We aren't talking about protracted or regular absences here. I would be tempted to ask why they are setting targets for you when other colleagues have missed theirs and yet completed their probation.

Is there anything else that distinguishes the employees e.g. more experience or different working patterns? (I am sincerely hoping you don't say that the people who have passed probation are male and the people who haven't are female)

Worra
I don't agree that someone being in the office for 3 more days than someone else will go very far in addressing performance failings that mean that someone who is in the office for fewer days can outperform them by a measurable margin.

KittyVonCatsworth Thu 19-Nov-15 13:18:35

Ach, I appreciate my comments may come across as harsh, and I apologise for that. Fwiw, another member of my team was new, going through probation at around the same time but she was so quiet that it came across as being stand offish where the project manager had a word with me about her 'attitude'. I spoke to her about it and it turned out that she was terribly homesick, couldn't find a flat etc etc. but generally she was naturally very quiet and just needed a bit of coaching. She got through her probation based on an improvement plan. I tried the same with him at the time.

I think what I'm clumsily trying to say is that some employers use probationary, performance monitoring, appraisals in the completely wrong way in the sense you have to address these things as they come up and not ambush people with a whole load of stuff when 'the card is marked'.

Onwards and upwards, the gobshites will always out themselves eventually and if you stick to your ethics of head down, arse up this will all have blown over by the end of your extension x

Sallycinnamum Thu 19-Nov-15 13:19:15

This attitude really pisses me off and then organisations wonder why staff engagement is so low.

Rewarding people who have no sickness absence but are crap at their job is so common in the NHS that I've sworn never to work in the public sector again.

Earlier this year my colleague hauled herself into work with dreadful sickness and infected every single one of us, which resulted with all my family then getting sick and a skeleton staff for two weeks. And she then got praised in a weekly meeting for coming in even though she was poorly. Luckily we weren't frontline staff who are under even more pressure to turn up for duty when they're ill.

Dollymixtureyumyum Thu 19-Nov-15 13:23:43

Yes actually the two that have passed are male and the two that have extensions are female but I honestly think that has nothing to do with it. I just think my company don't like absences at all. I think they may have been burnt in the past.
I hope it does come to light what an arse he is. All the team members know it and other members of staff it's the main managers that need to catch on. Mind you I would have thought he record would have told them that but there you go

slightlyglitterpaned Thu 19-Nov-15 13:26:40

I have worked in an environment where having enough bums on seats to answer calls trumped whether those calls were answered well. Goes against the grain to get rid of a high performing employee, but if their sick was too high we did it, because those were the constraints we had.

I still wouldn't have kept a shitty arsehole though, which makes me think you might be well advised to keep your head down, drag yourself into work (and cough on your boss), and keep an eye out for other opportunities.

In contrast to what some on this thread have been saying, in some roles it's actually better to have someone in 60% of the time who is competent - DP's boss just brought a contractor back on the grounds that clients are a lot happier to get their project actually done in, than to have someone fulltime on it for weeks not getting anywhere. I think that's unusual though. I suspect British industry would be better off if it wasn't (i.e. output was more valued).

Jhm9rhs Thu 19-Nov-15 13:30:10

In every organisation in which I have worked, an average employee with good attendance has been viewed more positively than someone who is stellar at their job but has poor attendance.

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