What happens when managers fail to address employee issues?

In this case study, we explore how quickly small incidences of lateness can cause big problems for an employer. Luckily they requested support through our outsourced HR services to resolve the issue.

You you can see how quickly things can escalate, and with our expert advice and support, the business was able to resolve the issue for good.

Employee lateness costs the UK economy around £9 billion a year. In a survey conducted by the Heathrow Express, common reasons given for lateness were: traffic jams (41%), public transport delays (29%), unforeseen circumstances (25%), bad weather (18%), sleeping through an alarm (14%) and leaving something behind (12%).

All those minutes add up and it is important for managers to nip any issues of lateness in the bud. For businesses, punctuality is essential to the overall success of the company. Lateness is one of the most common problems when it comes to managing people, and whilst it is generally accepted that there will be occasions of lateness, if it becomes a regular occurrence, then actions need to be taken to protect the business.

Please note that names have been changed and details adjusted to ensure confidentiality to our client and their employees*

The background

We recently worked with a small business based in the manufacturing industry, they employ 25 people and have been operating for 10 years. John, the manager of the company, has been with the company for 7 years.

What is going on…

One of the employees, Jane, has been working at the company for 5 years. Recently, it has come to the attention of John and other employees that Jane has been regularly coming into work late and leaving early. Additionally, Jane has been seen using her personal phone during work hours, which is against company policy, the other employees are tired of picking up the extra work that Jane fails to complete.

What’s the problem?

John has failed to take any action in regards to Jane’s behaviour. He has not spoken with her about her occasions of lateness and has not addressed her use of her personal phone during work hours. As a result, Jane continues to come into work late and leave early, and her productivity has decreased. Other employees have also begun to become disengaged and demotivated, as they feel that Jane is just getting away with it.

What could go wrong?

Decreased productivity: As Jane continues to come into work late and leave early, her productivity has decreased, which has a negative impact on the company’s overall productivity.

Decreased morale: Other employees have become disengaged and demotivated due to the lack of action by John. They feel that if Jane is not being held accountable for her actions, then they should not be held accountable either.

Loss of trust: Employees have lost trust in John as a manager, as they feel that he is not enforcing company policies and holding employees accountable for their actions.

Decreased customer satisfaction: As productivity decreases and morale drops, it is likely that customer satisfaction will also decrease.

Financial Loss: Due to decrease in productivity, lost time, and reduced customer satisfaction, the company may face financial loss.

Rebox HR recommends:

Firstly, John should address Jane’s behaviour by talking to her. The conversation should be factual and he should discuss her occasions of lateness and her use of her phone during working hours. This provides an opportunity to highlight the company rules as set in their policies or employee handbook, this sets clear expectations for her behaviour in the future.

John should make an effort to communicate with the other employees to address their concerns and re-establish trust with them.

The company should ensure that all employees are aware of the relevant policies and the consequences if they’re not followed. This ensures that employees are treated consistently and fairly, which is in line with best practices.

We support our clients by supporting them with our outsourced HR services. This helps us to monitor and evaluate employee absences by using Breathe HR software which highlights the reasons for absence and provides up to date reports and information at the touch of a button. We then offer support and take necessary actions to improve the absence levels.


In this case study, we have seen how a manager’s failure to take action in regards to an employee’s behaviour can have negative consequences for both the employee, their team and the company. It is important for managers to nip issues in the bud and hold employees accountable for their actions in order to maintain a productive and positive work environment.

Looking for expert HR Advice ?

We have plenty of options for businesses in both retainer and ad-hoc options

Contact Rebox HR on 01327 640070 or email Hello@reboxhr.co.uk

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