How to Spot a Bad Employee

Recruiting a new employee can be risky and there’s never any certainty that they will live up to expectations. The performance at interview and references are all you initially have to go on, so it is no wonder that many employees fail to impress! If you are concerned about the performance of a new recruit and are perhaps wondering how to fire an employee, these may be some telltale signs that you are making the right decision.

Always Late

If your new employee is constantly late for work, even if it’s just 5 or 10 minutes here and there; this is not a good sign. A good employee will make sure they turn up on time for work, although there may be the odd exception, whereas a bad employee will be late more often than on time.

Lack of Motivation

You should expect your employees to be ready for work and motivated while they are there and if not, they are not likely to perform well enough to help the business grow. Motivation is important in the workplace and a lack of motivation not only affects performance, but it can also cause other employees to become demotivated. If your employee shows a real lack of motivation, it may be worth considering whether they are right for your business.

Talk Too Much

No one expects workers to spend their entire day working, without lifting their head up to take a breath. However, there is a fine line between a bit of chat and an entire day spent talking about the new series of Big Brother or plans for the weekend. If an employee spends more time talking than doing work, this will not be good for business in the long run and will put others off their work too.

Don’t Help Colleagues

A good employee will support their colleagues. This may include picking up calls, helping with increased workloads or asking if they need a hand if they have spare time on their hands. An employee who is bad for business will only do their own work and won’t show any concern for their colleagues. This will quickly become noticeable to other members of staff and will cause resentment, which will affect the overall levels of morale in the workplace.

Spread Negativity

The right kind of employee will be positive, have a smile on their face and be motivated to achieve their goals. They will meet or exceed their expectations of their role, will be civil to others and won’t cause any disruption. An employee who spreads negativity is bad for the workplace and will probably adversely affect everyone they come in contact with. This is the last thing you want for a healthy, happy workplace!

If you spot these signs in a new employee, it may be time to use an HR consultancy to help provide advice on how to deal with a bad employee.


How to Become a Productivity Master Today

You can easily sit at your desk for 8 hours straight, but that doesn’t guarantee that you will be productive. Productivity is not really about how long you work for, but rather how much work you get done. You can get the same volume of work completed in 3 hours, as you can in 5, if you are focused and determined. Whether you run your own business or you work for an employer, your opportunities for success will be determined by how productive you are. It is not always easy but there are some simple measures you can take to become a productivity master today!

Remove Distractions

This is easier said than done, but it is one of the most important actions to take if you want to be as productive as possible. You may think checking Facebook or sending a quick text doesn’t take long, but it can easily take your concentration away from the task in hand and can cause a dip in productivity levels. It is a good idea to keep your phone off, or at least hidden from view and to refrain from checking it or your social media pages until after lunch or when you get home in the evening. A couple of seconds can easily spiral into half an hour and this can have consequences for how productive you will be. Most communication can wait, so don’t be tempted into getting into long, drawn out conversations. The less distractions you have, the more productive you will be. Don’t be afraid to refuse to attend meetings that you don’t believe will hold any value, as these can just take up a lot of unnecessary time.

Set Deadlines

At the start of the day, it is important to write a to-do list and also set yourself some deadlines for when you want to complete work. For instance, if you are writing a report and know you can complete it within two hours, make sure you put your head down for those two hours and don’t go over the deadline. You will feel better if you complete your list of tasks for the day and will learn to become more productive by setting your own deadlines.

Regular Breaks

It may seem that sitting down at your desk for 8 hours solid is the best way to be productive, but it is not physically or mentally possible to stay focused for this period of time. It is much more productive and better for your health, if you take regular breaks from your desk and particularly if you can get outside for some fresh air. If you aim to take breaks every couple of hours, even for just 15 minutes, you will find that you may get a new lease of life when you return to your desk. It is important to remember that we are not robots and we need regular exercise to stay motivated.

If you’re looking for the next step in your career, check out the banking and financial jobs we have available at Nationwide Jobs today.

*Guest Post* 5 Things to Avoid as a Manager

Every new manager wants to be the most impactful, pro-active, hands on manager there is, however, there is a lot of common mistakes that they make. A lot of these mistakes happen while the manager is still in the stage where they are gaining experience and learning the ropes. Being a successful manager is about being a jack of all trades, being able to manage people, emotions and workloads. A good way to think of this process is of a marathon, you just have to keep going no matter how far you have left.

In this article I will be going over some of the more common traps that new managers fall into and how you can avoid them.

Burning Yourself Out

One of the things that new managers tend to do when they move into the role is to try to take on a whole load of tasks and start implementing too many rushed decisions. This approach is similar to diving headfirst into a hay stack with needles. It should be avoided as much as possible; if you are a new manager, you should definitely take it slow and absorb the company as much as you can. If you have to consult other people in order to make informed decisions, do so until you are comfortable enough to control matters in your own hands.

Not Being Supportive Enough

As mentioned earlier, being a successful manager involves being a jack of all trades; I said this because as a new manager, you will have to interact with a wide variety of employees. Some of these employees will require help from you, whether it be some guidance, feedback, some personal issues or technical feedback, it will then come down to how prepared you are to help your employees out.

A large part of being a manager is similar to being a mentor; people will come to you looking for answers. Making yourself available for your employees is key to integrating in the team, a lot of managers get too tied up in their office with their work and forget to socialise with colleagues and their team. Getting to know your team is one way to gain trust and their support.

Failing to Define Goals

Making sure everybody is working towards a task is very important, employees that understand what they have to do and why they are doing something are much more likely to be productive throughout the day. Although it may not be your job to create a complete “to do” list for everybody that you are working for, make sure your team understands what the overall goal is. Depending on how many people you are managing, you can then delegate the micromanagement to the relevant managers of certain departments, which takes off the workload off you but allows a more designated person to take care of it.

Lack of Confidence

Sylvia Plath once said “The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”, becoming a manager will lead to self-doubt at times due to the pressure involved, every decision you make will have a positive or negative impact and that responsibility is something you must have to deal with. Being sure in your actions shows not only that you are confident in your decision making, but also it reassures your team that you are ready to handle tasks that come your way. It’s hard to get people to believe in you if you don’t believe in yourself.

Individual Needs

It is important to see the big picture in everything that you do, however, in some situations it is more beneficial to look deeper at what you can do from the bottom up. If there are issues that are rising within your team, rather than ignoring them, try to navigate to the root of the problem.

Making sure your employees are satisfied is essential to being a manager; a recent study from the University of Warwick found that happiness led to a 12% spike in productivity.


To conclude, many of these tips will be learnt naturally as you progress through your managerial role. If you have not been on any professional management skills courses, it would be wise to attend some as they will help you gain a deep insight. This article should have helped you prepare for some of the obstacles that may come in the way of completing your marathon.

Employers – What to Know About 2016 Employment Law Changes

A new year has kicked off and with this comes a number of changes to the employment law. Employers should be aware of these changes and put plans into action to deal with these, if required, and if they have not already done so. A number of the changes are HR related and may require action from this department.

Introduction of National Living Wage

Many companies have already implemented the National Living Wage, but if you have not done so, you will need to have it in place by 1st April 2016. The National Living Wage applies to workers who are aged 25 or over and is aimed at protecting workers on low salaries within this age bracket. It does, however, exclude those in the first year of an apprenticeship. The national living wage will exceed the national minimum wage for this age group and is currently being set at a minimum rate of £7.20 per hour. The National Living Wage will become the law, just like the National Minimum Wage, so it is imperative that employers ensure this is in place.


Gender Pay Gap Reports

There has been a lot in the press recently about gender pay gaps and in an attempt to reduce these gaps, employers will need to publish details on their pay rates, both for males and females. This will be introduced in March and will affect businesses who employ 250 or more employees. This particular legislation is still a bit sketchy, with specific details on what is expected from employers still to be released.

Sick Pay and Maternity and Paternity Pay Rates Frozen

There will be no increase in statutory sick pay and the rates for maternity, paternity adoption and shared parental pay will also remain the same as they were in 2015. Employers do not need to make any changes here.

Employing Foreign Workers

There will be more stringent rules in place when it comes to employing foreign workers into the business. Some of these changes include, a requirement for all employees working in face to face customer roles to be able to speak fluent English. There will also be an immigration skills charge introduced for those employers who use foreign workers.

It is important to keep on top of the employment law and how it may affect your staff. If you require HR support on a bespoke/temporary basis, contact me for more information or visit