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Simon Harris: Managing Attendance

Simon Harris: Managing Attendance

Simon Harris: Managing Attendance

Simon Harris of mysalonmanager has been in the industry for over 40 years, owning and running a group of 16 salons with over 250 staff. In 2015 he decided to go into full time coaching and consultancy to help support other salon owners and managers to run successful and profitable businesses. In the second of his two-part series on staffing issues, here he looks at Managing Attendance.


One of the biggest issues facing salon owners is staff

1. Turning Up

2. On Time

3. Being prepared to work

Let’s deal with the first two! Turning up every day. Why is it so important? Not turning up lets clients and colleagues down and damages the salon reputation, our image and staff morale. It potentially costs us clients, as they rarely return if they are turned away due to sickness or moved with a different member of staff.

Strategy to improve attendance

1. Ensure when recruiting that you explore previous attendance history with last employers or school/college if an assistant.

2. The key here is to look at single episodes of sickness, not necessarily one or two bouts of non-attendance through say a surgical procedure or illness that kept that person off for days or maybe weeks.

3. Write an attendance policy covering non-attendance and lateness and ensure it is communicated to every member of the team.

4. The policy must contain a process for reporting sickness to the salon by phone, email or text. How long before they are due in must they contact their manager?

5. Decide what is reasonable non-attendance; accident, surgery, virus when accompanied by a high fever/vomiting etc.

6. Agree what is an acceptable level of non-attendance; one day per month? Two days per quarter? Three days per year?

7. Always run a ‘back to work’ interview using a simple form to record relevant details.

8. Watch for patterns; time to dig deeper? Consider any accompanying changes in behaviour or performance.

9. Agree action for change.

10. If non-attendance becomes a major issue, gather evidence or consider using social media to support the facts.

11. Use ‘informal letters of concern’ before going down the formal disciplinary route.

12. Manage bereavement sensitively without letting bereavement leave become ‘open-ended’. Ensure your policy has some element of paid compassionate leave. Agree in advance what counts as ‘close’ family to avoid damaging misunderstandings.

13. Deal with lateness in a similar way to non-attendance. Consider the reasons why but record every time staff are late and why. Again, look for patterns. You must address every episode of lateness before it becomes acceptable and therefore part of your salon culture.


Simon Harris is the owner and founder of mysalonmanager, and has helped hundreds of salon owners and managers build and run great businesses.

Get in touch now by emailing, simon@mysalonmanager.co or call, 07860 651 084.

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