How Do I Handle an Employee Who’s Always Running Late?

February 15, 2019

Dear Jenny, I run a housekeeping business and have a lady who works with me (we divide up the cleaning jobs between us) – she does exceptional work, but…

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Dear Jenny,

I run a housekeeping business and have a lady who works with me (we divide up the cleaning jobs between us) – she does exceptional work, but my clients complain that she is always running late to clean their homes. It’s just 10 or 15 minutes, but I think it’s not acceptable.

What can I do to get her to show up on time?

Dear On-time Housekeeper,

Housekeeping was part of a service that my personal concierge company offered and I ran into this issue quite often.

My best advice is to sit down with the woman who works for you and discuss the client’s feedback. Communicate with her as kindly and directly as possible. And don’t forget to acknowledge what she’s already doing well!

Here’s how your part of the conversation might go…

I want to let you know that our clients are very pleased with the exceptional work you do! There is only one complaint they have though–and it’s not with cleaning. It has to do with your arrival time. The clients complain that you arrive 5-10 minutes late. Although 10-15 minutes may seem like a small time window and the majority of our clients are not home when we clean, it’s that handful that are home who expect us to show up on time. Let me know if there’s anything I can do on my end to help make sure you can get there on time.

What you’re doing here is opening up the conversation and giving her a chance to discuss the complaint, rather than coming down on her with a harsh scolding. This allows you to help solve the problem amicably.

You just might find out that some of your clients’ homes need more time than is allotted, which is causing your cleaner to run 5-10 minutes late. In this case, you have the opportunity to reassess your rates and charge for the extra time needed if a customer’s house is a shitstorm that week! Or it could also simply be traffic and parking issues.

These are real issues I’ve run into in the past with my staff, so listen to the cleaner who works with you and give her reply real consideration.

It sounds like you have an exceptional housekeeper. Your job is to work together to resolve the timing issue so everyone is happy!

Happy customers = referrals + more money. Happy staff = exceptional work + can-do attitude!

Hope this helps!

With grace and growth,

Disclaimer: The advice given in this post is for educational, informational and entertainment purposes only. The reader is responsible for the outcomes of any actions and/or decisions made based on this advice.

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I'm 50 years old and believe age is just a number and shouldn't define us! I'm passionate about helping women embrace who they are, push through those limiting beliefs, and live a life that truly shines. I love sharing my wisdom and experiences and having rich dialogues with fellow entrepreneurs, so pull up a chair, friend, and come on in...

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