I just became a manager at the restaurant I've been working at for over two years and am really frustrated with some of the problems that I am now facing and that the restaurant as a whole is having to deal with.
There are a number of employees (cooks) that are causing HUGE problems every day. They do not follow recipes like they are supposed to, have generally bad attitudes when they come in, are usually late when they come in, and don't respond well to any of the managers when told they are doing something wrong. . .especially to me since I was on the line with them just a month ago. They all have this idea that they are better than anybody could tell them to be and they don't think they have to listen to us. In fact, it is so bad that, as I tried to fix a situation yesterday, it ended up getting to the point that the employee threatened to knock me out! He should have lost his job on the spot, but instead, everybody got another glimpse at the fact that I am not allowed to make that decision because we are depending on certain individuals so much that they can call the shots.
Now, I understand where the problem lies--management here in the past has done a horrendous job of telling people what they are doing wrong without trying to correct the behavior and without implementing any real consequences for things like insubordination, which is basically a daily ritual with these guys. At any rate, as we have recently tried to do what we can to talk with these guys, punish them immediately, try and promote behavior that we want, etc., etc., we have come to the conclusion that we just want them out of the restaurant, and herein lies the next problem.
However much my boss wants these guys out, he's scared to let them go because of the amount of shifts they cover every week. Between the two or three guys that cause the most problems they will easily cover between 1/4 and 1/6 of the workload in the kitchen every week. So, if we get them out, that means that we will be even more short-handed than we already are (we are currently running a skeleton crew due to high new-employee turnover rates. . .I think this is due to the attitude that the new guys have to put up with from the problem employees to a large extent), and I don't think my boss is really willing to put forth the effort that would be involved with that. I am of the opinion that we need to go ahead and get them out before they "infect" anybody else with their work ethic and deal with the incredible amount of work that we will have to personally make up until we can get a new crew in there to take their places, but I feel that I am the only one that is motivated to do that.
I really love my job other than this ugly situation, and as I was JUST moved up, I'm afraid that I won't find another job that will give me an opportunity with this much responsibility or pay immediately, and I really don't want to have to learn a whole new restaurant or other job after having just gotten this one down pretty well. What I want is some practical wisdom on how to approach this scenario so that the store can come out on top, doing better than it already is (it's doing well, but I think clearing this up would allow it to do so much better), and giving me and the rest of the crew an ejoyable work environment that will also be positive on a resume for future jobs. Is anybody willing to put in their two cents?