Hello, I'm a relatively new manager (about 5 months now) and I have a situation that I need help with. I currently have 7 employees in office (2 remote that live in a different state). We are back in the office 2 days a week and we have a staggered workshift. My employees can come in between the hours of 7:30 am and 8:30 am, depending on who is staying late for the day. 

I need to have 2 employees stay late each day (until 5 pm, the rest leave at 4 pm). I had previously established that whoever stays until 5 pm can come in at 8:30 am so they work their full shift. Everybody is on salary so overtime and hours aren't an issue. 

What I'm having trouble with is how to divide up this time and make it fair to everybody. I have 2 employees that volunteered to stay late each Tuesday (we work in office Tuesdays/Thursdays) so they work late 4-5 days per month. The rest of my employees have attempted to cover the Thursdays but it seems like nobody is happy and nobody wants to stay. 

My 2 Tuesday late stayers have expressed that they're annoyed that nobody is volunteering to stay when one of them cannot for whatever reason. Reasons such as being off that day, having an emergency etc. 

I want to revamp the entire way we set this up. My 2 Tuesday late stayers are adamant that they're OK with staying late on Tuesdays and do not want to stop doing that, but then that makes it so that the rest of my employees have to stay once or twice during the month, which they also think is unfair. 

Next month (July 2022) has 4 Tuesdays and 4 Thursdays. If I have my 2 Tuesday people stay late on each Tuesday then they should be done for the entire month, but then that means that my other 5 people will have to split up the Thursdays, which means no matter what I do, someone will not be happy. 

It's coming to the point that if I can't figure this out, then everybody is going to have to stay until 5 pm. I obviously don't want to do this. 


Like I said above, I'm a first time manager, my employees are wonderful and I'm really trying to make sure that they remain content in their positions. 


What would you do in this situation? How would you handle this? Any advice would be much appreciated. 


Thank you

LEmerson's picture

You stated, "no matter what I do, someone will not be happy." That factor will be there always.

You have business requirements that must be met by your employees. To me, an excuse of, "I don't wanna..." is not acceptable. Of course you want to make your employees as happy as possible, that enhances whatever they're being paid in terms of job satisfaction. But if you let the I Don't Wannas create a logjam, you're letting the tail wag the dog.

I'd recommend clearly establishing the fact that the time slots need to be covered by the employees, no ifs ands or buts. It looks like you left it up to the employees to figure it out, and that's not working. I'd establish that the employees need to cover these times, then set a schedule with everyone getting days and times as equal as possible, and that's the way it is, no discussion. If someone has a conflict it's up to them to arrange to switch with someone else.

For heck sakes, with seven employees and eight days that one needs to stay an extra hour, that's one extra hour for one day a month for each, with two days every seven months. If they're acting like you're cutting their legs off, it's more a case of employees seeing how far they can push your boundaries rather than any kind of real hardship.

Sometimes you need to lay down the law, and maybe even shoot a hostage once in a while. This might be a good time to snarl a bit since you're asking so little in terms of extra effort.

x6259k's picture

Give them one more chance to figure it out between them or just have everyone work until 5.

Just as LEmerson mentioned most salary jobs are always requiring you to stay with no notice. Asking to stick around an extra hour is not asking too much especially when they get to work from home the other days. I would love to work from home 3 days especially with the current gas prices.

You are not asking too much in my opinion.