Originally Posted by Mow Mony
I try not to forget that, living on what my guys make(which is better than avg. but not enough to live really well on) life can be hard at times, not to mention many have made some poor life decisions which is why they are mowing lawns in the first place. Doesn't mean they aren't good people or good workers though, but most of mine have been through some hard times. I'd say lay out your expectations for what you expect going forward, then give him the option of a pay cut, or finding a new job. Tell him once he shows he can be reliable and perform again to the levels you expect, in all areas, he will return to his pay rate. If he is good in almost every area he is probably worth keeping. I have done this before and it has worked for me. As others have said, don't let him poison the morale though, and make sure something is done as a consequence, even if its not terminating him. I go above and beyond for my employees (sounds like you are the same way), and they appreciate it for the most part. I am not afraid to fire one though if it isn't working out...but if they are overall a great employee, and have a few slip ups, we address it, make sure they learn from it, and move on.
^^ very very close to home.