I think many are mixing apples and oranges. The author would have done well to provide an example or two. If a person is constantly late or regularly turns a 10-minute break into a 25-minute break or 'slips out for a "quick" smoke' or uses crass language around clients... that is a legitimate criticism. And it SHOULD be presented as a criticism. "You know Bob, we've spoken about this before. You need to show up for work on time. We have regular working hours and you are expected to be here on time just like everyone else. We all have things come up, but you tend to abuse the flexibility and it's tarnishing your reputation among management and your peers."
Saying things like "What can "WE" do to help" is coddling. It's not the managers responsibility to get the employee out of bed and to work on time.
That said, there ARE situations where empathy and assistance are appropriate. Bob, I realize that your raising two young kids as a single parent. It looks like it's next to impossible for you to get here at 8am. How about if we adjust your lunch your to 45-minutes?
There are times when employees need to be held accountable for poor performance or behavior. And there are times when an employee simply needs some help. This article did not address this fact very well.
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