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I have never been a huge believer in negative reinforcement. The tough thing as a manager is to figure out what actions to take when you have repeatedly told an employee what to do and he fails to listen. So what is the best way to handle a guy like that?
We just had an issue with one of our salespeople last week and it has created enough controversy that I decided to write a post on it. This guy has a history of being late more often than he should. He has been verbally warned from the owner of the store on several occasions not to miss is morning sales meeting. We have never threatened anything against him nor have we ever written him up for his actions. He was late to another meeting last week and as a result, the owner decided to penalize him by taking away his largest spiff for the month ( which will end up being $500). He is obviously really pissed about the situation and feels like he should have been warned about the negative reinforcement first. He also thinks it is a very extreme punishment and something a little more reasonable would have been more appropriate.
I find that I am torn as to who's side I am on. I completely understand where the owner is coming from in that it is really hard to manage someone that doesn't listen to what you ask of them and are constantly making the same mistakes. Conversely, having sold before I see where the salesguy is coming from. It was a pretty drastic punishment and it could have been handled a little bit differently.
With all that said, what is the best way to approach a situation like this. Is negative reinforcement really the answer or is there a more effective way that won't kill the moral of the salesperson? What has worked for you guys in the past?