I was a motivational speaker for the courts where we discussed a difficult work relationship one of the delegates has. The TCA( top court administrator) hired a friend who was taking advantage of the friendship and coming in late for work.
She explained that Nancy ( her friend) comes to work late regularity because she knows she won't discipline her because she's a friend.
We discussed the issue and decided this is a problem because ...
What good is a friendship like this? Nancy is taking advantage of the situation. It is also unfair to other employees who see the preferred treatment. Nancy is setting a new precident on late policy others will follow. Where do you draw the line on other bad behaviour?
The FIRST step is to talk about the problem with Nancy. A conversation something like:
......This is the third time you are late for work this week. I'm afraid I can't rely on you. I feel like I have to nag you to keep you in line. It also means others will feel its ok to be late for work. We are a team and you are an important part of that team. When you are late it let's everyone down and our service suffers.
Next, ASK for something different.... Nancy I need you to commit to being on time for work . Not five minutes late but on time. I will come by your office in the morning to check in. Your friendship is important to me but this is work. I treat you like I treat everyone else at work because that's fair.
Finally, GET agreement....ok? You will commit to being on time for work?
I am always shocked to find out how common it is for people to come to work late or (so they say) sick. It's like it's become common practice and it's ok, but it's not.
Tardiness makes for a difficult work relationship because it breaks trust.