What’s the Problem? 5 Questions to ask an Underperforming Employee

We all have days like this at work!

One of the most challenging tasks for any manager is how to handle employee underperformance.  This could be a general team issue where the whole group seems to be demotivated and underperforming.  More likely, however, the issue will relate to one or maybe two particular individuals.

Difficult Conversations at Work

Most managers would prefer not to have to sit down and have what can potentially be a difficult and even emotional conversation.  In this vein, the usual starting point is to try and rationalise the individual’s behaviour, and work out why they are underperforming.   Continue reading “What’s the Problem? 5 Questions to ask an Underperforming Employee”

Help! What do I do with Unpaid Workers?

8 Strategies for Successfully Managing Volunteers

Whatever you choose to call them – volunteers, interns, work experience students, or helpers – at some point most organisations will have unpaid workers on the premises and need to think about volunteer management. For example:

  • Schools – parent helpers on trips out or special events such as school discos.
  • Religious organisations – the ladies and gentlemen who help out at the refectory after service and tidy the place of worship.
  • Youth organisations – your child’s Saturday morning football or coach or match referee, or their Sunday School leaders.
  • And most businesses these days will provide work experience and internships for people interested in a new career, with some choosing to utilise their services more than others.

Continue reading “Help! What do I do with Unpaid Workers?”

5 Top Tips for Terrific Employee Training Plans!

5 ways to get the best out of your employee training programmes and staff development plans.


This is probably the single area I get asked about more than any other.  Most employers know that an employee training plan is  important. As well as being a given expectation for Millennial employees, it is an effective way of creating employee engagement.  But what exactly is a proper employee training plan (ETP)? And how do we make one? Here are some ideas to get you started: Continue reading “5 Top Tips for Terrific Employee Training Plans!”

5 Reasons Why Your Learning Won’t Stick

We’ve all tried at some point.  Whether it was revising for exams at school, or attempting to learn Spanish by attending evening classes or downloading language podcasts.  Somehow, it just didn’t work.

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Learning any new skill can be a challenge!

Despite trying our very hardest, we struggled to retain anything beyond the first few sentences.  Then promptly forgot those as we got up to fetch a cup of tea.

Why is this?  Why is it that sometimes, despite trying as hard as we possibly can, learning just won’t stick?

And why is it just so easy for other people?

Continue reading “5 Reasons Why Your Learning Won’t Stick”

What’s Your Learning Style?


Most of us like to be presented with information in a way that is personal to our own individual learning style.  For example, if you asked for directions would you prefer:

  1. To be told how to get there?
  2. To be given a map?
  3. To be personally escorted?

Depending on your answer you might say that you were an aural learner who needs to hear information (option a); or a visual learner who needs to see it (option b); or a kinetic learner who needs to get up, move about, and physically do the new thing (option c). Continue reading “What’s Your Learning Style?”

Staff Training and Development – An Employer’s Crossroads of Danger and Opportunity

Sadly, staff training is often viewed as an an expendable cost.  Traditionally, it has been seen as a ‘nice to have’ afterthought rather than something to be planned for and invested in. Why?  Well, as a small business owner myself, I can vouch that most start-ups in their early days walk a fine line when it comes to disposable income and choosing what to spend money on Continue reading “Staff Training and Development – An Employer’s Crossroads of Danger and Opportunity”