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Dealing with the ‘Problem Employee’

The last thing anyone needs is a problem employee. You don’t need it, the company doesn’t need it, and their colleagues don’t need it, either. Here’s a quick guide to spotting and solving the problem.

Spotting a problem

How do you actually identify a problem employee? It’s not always obvious to the employer when an employee presents a problem (although some would argue that it should be!). If it’s causing a big problem with the general workflow, then the problem will be pretty clear soon enough. Otherwise, you may have to rely on employee reports. You can read more about them at A mistake that a lot of employers make is not recognizing an employee complaint about another as a problem that affects the business. Laziness is obviously damaging to the business, but what about things like obnoxiousness, or a lack of personal hygiene? What you must remember is that these things affect employee morale.

Can you actually fire them?

Perhaps the problem is really obvious. In fact, the rules were broken pretty flagrantly. There may be a strong temptation to fire them. You need to be strategic about this if you do want to fire them – there’s no shortage of employee problems that you can’t legally fire them for. You also need to recognize the difference between an offense that can result in immediate firing and one that requires a notice period. Consider visiting if you need more information on offenses that call for immediate firing. What’s clear is that you need to be very careful about your decision here.


Before deciding on what action you need to take, it may be best to find out if there’s anything going on in the employee’s personal life. While bringing emotional baggage to the office may not be the most professional of things to do, I’m sure that most people can empathize with those who are having a bad time of things.

Most of us have had a bad day at work largely as a result of things that aren’t even taking place at the office. Instead of rushing towards punishment or stern words, consider asking them if they’re okay. You can read more at If you know this sort of behavior isn’t very characteristic of them, then you have even more reason to suspect that something may be up.

Discretion benefits everyone

At the end of the day, no matter what the issue is, the best thing to do is be discrete. It not going to work in anyone’s favor if you tell someone off or call them out about a problem in front of everyone. It embarrasses the employee in question and may anger them further; it will also make the other employees feel pretty awkward, and may result in them respecting you a little less. Not a great move for a boss! So if there is a problem, the best thing you can do is email the employee or IM them and requesting a quick private meeting.

*This post is contributed to Spicy Scribbler Blog

Are You Ready To Handle The Realities Of Being A Boss?

Perhaps you’ve started a business and taken on some employees of your very own. Or maybe you’re moving into a career that puts you in a leadership position. Knowing your way about the industry isn’t the only skill you need on your side. You need to know the people as well. Particularly, you need to make sure you’re able to show that you’re the stuff of bosses. That means getting to grips with some the real responsibilitiewoman-hand-desk-office

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What you say goes

The one thing that truly separates you from your team is the authority that comes with the position. You are responsible for the direction the team takes and ensuring it takes it right. Besides implementing the best strategies that come from you and the expertise of your team, you need to make sure that authority is firmly in place. A team that doesn’t respect their leader is one that’s going to make it difficult to implement any kind of change you might like to see. Establishing your authority early means being supportive and encouraging, but you can’t go too far into trying to buddy up to your team. Make your demands clear of your team, but make it clear that you’re not just an all-powerful head from above. Get in the trenches with them. If you ask them to work late, work late. If you make clear that the piling admin work needs to be tidied away, then dig into it with them.

The buck always stops with you

With great power, comes great responsibility, as the superheroes always say. That goes for you, too. You are the ultimate authority and thus ultimately responsible for when your team fails. If individuals need to be held accountable, then privately take them aside and find solutions to problems that got in the way of their work. However, don’t try to push the blame off to them. Do that and you’ll see yourself creating a culture of blame in your team that helps literally no-one.

Trials and tribulations

When feedback becomes discipline, then things can get messier. You are going to have to deal with problems in the team at some point. Unproductive people. Harassment. Dismissal. These are the unfortunate realities of dealing with a team, some of them are going to fail at some point. Making sure you don’t fail is being able to handle these responsibilities fairly and responsibly so that it doesn’t blow back up in the business’s face. HR consultancy and advice, for instance, can help you manoeuvre the more difficult trials without getting your business in a legally liable position. A proper policy should always serve as the guideline on how to handle the more difficult aspects of being a boss. However, learning how to be delicate with personnel yet firm in your decisions can help you navigate them as a person.


A big part of your responsibility will be making sure you create a team that is fit to take on more. To see them grow to the point that they can excel without you always needing to have to hover over them. A more efficient business is created when a boss can let people mostly get on with things. Focus on training and equipping your team with the best tools they can use. This means listening to them, as well. They’re working directly on the strategies you decide so they might have some ideas on how to do it better that are worth listening to.

Talking the talk

Besides leading a team by implementing strategies and managing people, the kind of aura you give off as a person matters as well. It shouldn’t be the case, but people are swayed by appearance and talk as much as action. Learning more confident body language, professional appearance musts, and more assertive ways of speaking are going to help you establish and hold the authority that an effective boss needs. It will also help you be a lot more confident as being the head and face of the team when dealing with any clients or bosses that you might have.

Being a boss is scary for anyone. Get it wrong and you might not get any respect or you might be too feared to effectively lead a team. However, get it right, and you can capitalise on the full talent and dedication of the team beneath you. Hopefully, you’ve got an idea of how to face the challenge of becoming a leader.

*This post is contributed to Spicy Scribbler Blog

Working In Medicine Without A PHD? It Can Be Done!

You might love the idea of working in the medical industry. Unfortunately, though, you didn’t get great grades in school, and university wasn’t a massive success either. It’s too late to go back and get your grades now, but you still want to work in medicine. You want to help save lives and make the world a better place. So, what are your options?

First Responders And Paramedics

Yes, you can work to learn how to save lives on the scene. Essentially, you’ll need to learn how to give emergency care until a doctor can see a patient. You can find out all about this on a one year course. It doesn’t require a full medical degree, and you won’t be trapped in a hospital all day. Instead, you’ll be driving to scenes where there is an emergency and giving your full support.


It is possible to work in research as an assistant without a degree. In this field, you will be looking at new possibilities for treatments and may be helping physicians test drugs or medicine. You might still find you are working with patients on studies such as clinical trials. It can feel a lot like working in a hospital.

Being A Midwife

You might wonder what the difference between an obstetrician and a midwife is. The basic answer is that an obstetrician is fully trained with a complete degree. Therefore, they can help if the birth is abnormal. Midwives are able to deliver normal births when there aren’t complications. You can learn about becoming a midwife in the infographic that follows.

Infographic Midwifery jobs