Never Discipline At Start Of A Shift

Posted on June 5, 2013 by - Also by this author

The Unfriendly Skies of United Airlines recently made me realize that bad news can put employees in bad moods.
 
As I finished my recent vacation in Colorado, I flew on United Airlines to get home. It was anything but the friendly skies. They have heard my complaint and they know about this blog.

Many years ago, as a young manager, I learned a valuable lesson about the timing of discipline. The thing about our business is we frequently do not hear about a complaint until the next day. Naturally, when a client calls to complain about something, you just want to confront the chauffeur about the complaint and hear their side of it immediately.

The next time you see him is usually when he is reporting for work again.  Unfortunately, this is the absolute worst time to discuss the matter. Your employee is getting ready to go out and be the face of your company to another client. Do you want that client to call and complain as well? If you choose to have a confrontation with an employee right before they leave on a run, you increase the chances of them being involved in an accident, abusing your vehicle, being rude to the client and a host of other problems.

I can only assume that some manager in Denver really let our cabin crew have it. They were the most unfriendly flight attendants I have ever seen. All of them seemed so upset and angry that the entire plane was very quiet and reserved. A passenger in a seat next to me was verbally scolded after the emergency procedures speech. The attendant asked the passenger, “Did you hear anything at all that was just said”? He put his book down and replied, “No.” She told him that he had been instructed to pay attention. When I asked if I could have the whole can of ginger ale instead of just the little cup, another attendant replied, “No!” Wow! Another flight attendant was a “person of size” and continually knocked books out of people’s hands and jostled their laptops as he moved through the cabin and never once apologized.

So, if you must discipline, your best bet is to wait until the chauffeur comes in from a trip. Or, call him in to the office at a time mutually agreed upon or talk to him on his day off. You never want to upset the help when you are counting on the help to represent your company in the face of the client.  The two do not go hand-in-hand and attitude is everything in this business.

— Jim Luff, LCT contributing editor

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More LCT Blog Blog Posts

September 22, 2017

Dealing With Weird And Bizarre Passenger Requests

One party of girls wanted to be smacked upside the backside every time they exited the limousine.

September 13, 2017

Create A Handbook Your Employees Will Actually Read

Black and white words on a page are boring and uninspiring; here are some things to consider when creating a how-to guide for your company.

August 29, 2017

Billy The Coach: How To Plan And Prepare For Success

The LCT Summit keynoter starts contributing this week to our blog by asking: What is it you want bad enough to work for?

August 16, 2017

Don’t Let Poor Grammar, Spelling, And Punctuation Ruin Your Image

You are what you write. Make sure you leave a good business impression, especially on social media.

August 8, 2017

Behind The Screens: Why Face Time Matters

Computers and smartphones have conditioned us to text and email our way through life. Here’s how Millennials and managers can work together to break the habit.

See More

Facebook Comments ()

Comments (0)

Post a Comment

Submit

Blog

See More

LCT Store

LCT Magazine - September 2017 $12.95 MOTORCOACH / BUS ISSUE COVER STORY: * Irizar Racks Up A Good Rookie Year * *



Connect

Experience the three annual industry events for networking for business, showcasing vehicles and products, and getting the tools for success.

Read About Your Region

What’s Happening Near You?
Click on any state to see the latest industry news and events in that region.

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Metro Magazine

Serving the bus and passenger rail industries for more than a century

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

Please sign in or register to .    Close