Employee Problems - Jacqui Mann

The 3 Main Employee Problems


The 3 Main Employee Problems

I’ve worked with hundreds of business owners during my years in HR and the majority of the businesses have what I call ‘People Disease’. I wanted to identify the main problems they were having with their people and find a cure for this disease.

I carried out a survey of business owners and identified the three main employee problems.

1.      You struggle to recruit the right people

2.      Employees don’t do things the way you want them done

3.      Employees don’t have the same passion for the business as you do


Let’s take a look at each problem in more detail and the issues they cause for the business and you.


1.   You struggle to recruit the right people

Finding the right people can be a long process. When you need someone in the business right now it’s sometimes easier to employ someone rather than not have anyone. But is it really? No it isn’t. This is the wrong mindset.

Recruiting the wrong people is costly for many reasons. Consider how much time you spend on recruitment and training. Then consider the time it takes to remove them from the business if they don’t work out. And what about the time is takes to repair any damage they might have caused with customers? Time is money, it all has a cost. What effect does this have on the team when the wrong person is recruited? What damage does that do?

To make matters worse you need to start the recruitment process all over again.

Without the right people in the business you end up trying to do everything yourself.


2.   Employees don’t do things the way you want them done

As the business owner it’s frustrating and takes up your valuable time putting things right. When there are four or five employees it is OK, but when you employ more people this can lead to more mistakes and potentially unhappy customers. You then have to spend a huge amount of your time dealing with an employee’s poor performance, which can be stressful. Or even worse, you don’t deal with the issues and continue to do everything yourself. You are then paying someone and you are still doing the work. Does this sound familiar?

I know as business owners we often think that no one else can do the job as well as us, but do you know there are people who can do the job better than you?


3.   Employees don’t have the same passion for the business as you

You get frustrated when employees don’t care about the business like you do. They don’t have the same motivation as you. You’ve got some good people but what you really need is a team of engaged, highly motivated individuals who you can rely on, working as a team; employees who will go that extra mile, without being asked, who share your passion for the business. Employees who want to work in your business and help with the growth.

So put another way, how can you Recruit, Inspire and Retain the right people?

The good news is there is a cure to this ‘People Disease’. It’s called ‘Culture’.


The P.E.O.P.L.E.™ System

Culture is easier to say than to do. Working with my clients I identified the key areas they needed to address to create and define a great workplace culture. I realised very early on that to attract the right people -and to inspire and retain them in the business – there were some key factors that needed to be included. Once I had identified these I developed ‘The P.E.O.P.L.E.™ System.’

The P.E.O.P.L.E.™ System begins with the foundations. It ensures you have the right people (HR) foundations in place so employees understand how things are done. It introduces values, people processes and systems which will transform your business.

the-people-system- Jacqui Mann

Once the foundations are laid, it’s time to look at the six steps in The P.E.O.P.L.E.™ System. Each of these steps must be in place to create a culture and a great place to work.

Step 1 –PURPOSE – Your purpose along with your values translates into your culture. What is your company purpose? Is your company purpose clearly defined?

Step 2 – ENVIRONMENT – How does it feel to work in your business? Is it a great place to work?

Step 3 – OWNERSHIP – When staff take ownership motivation and performance increases. How can you make this happen? Does this happen in your business?

Step 4 – PROGRESSION – Most employees are not motivated by money. How can they progress and develop in your business?

Step 5 –LEADERSHIP – As the leader you need to be the role model of the culture you want to create in your business. Do you walk the talk?

Step 6 – ENGAGEMENT – What is engagement and how do you create it? When does your culture become a business asset?

By implementing these steps you will start on a journey of curing your people problems. I hope you can see how each step links back to curing one of the three employee problems.

Need help with your people problems?  Contact us or book a call.


How Can I Make An Employee Stay With Me Once They Have Finished Their Training?


The team often get asked…

‘How can I make an employee stay with me after they finish their training?’

The short answer: Unfortunately you can’t.

I understand how frustrating it is, if you’ve spent a lot of time and money on training someone up, then at the end of that training, they decide they want to leave.

But, they do have a contract of employment with you, hopefully, and in that contract of employment it will tell them what their notice period is. There isn’t really anything you can do to stop someone from leaving. Once they’ve decided they want to go, then they will go.

What you can do, however, is…

Protect yourself a little bit by setting up a training agreement. The training agreement will actually state how much the training costs, and then what the consequences are if that employee decides to leave. You need to decide yourself whether you want them to pay back the full amount of money, or whether it’s a percentage of that money. You can actually have it stating if they leave within two years, or  twelve months or within six months, then the percentage can decrease as the time goes on.

How Can I Make An Employee Stay

Now with a training agreement, you need to make sure that you have it as a separate document and not something that’s included in the employment contract. You also need to make sure that you issue it to a member of staff before they actually start the training, so that when you talk to them about doing the training they have an understanding of what the consequence will be and that there’s a requirement for them to sign this training agreement up front.

It’s no point leaving it until the training is finished and then the employee decides they’re back to leave, and then you want them to sign the training agreement – that’s far too late.

Also Read: Do I Have To Pay An Employee Who Books Doctors Appointments During Working Time?

So if you’re going to be sending a member or staff on some training and it’s going to be quite costly and you want to protect yourself against that, and try to reclaim some of the money, then you can make sure that you set up a training agreement before they start the training.

If you’d like help with your HR Support or need HR consultation

…or if you’ve got any questions, please give us a call on 01980 622167, drop us an email, or contact us.


Do I Have To Issue An Employment Contract Before The Person Starts Work?


We’re often asked

“Do  I have to actually issue an employment contract to a member of staff before they start work?”

Well, the answer is no, you don’t have to…

You legally have to make sure that they have within eight weeks of them starting work, but its not great if you do it that way.

  • What we always recommend is that you make sure that you issue a contract and offer letter to someone before they start to work.
  • The reason for that, is because then you would know that they’re going to accept the terms and conditions that you’ve got.
  • So you’ll make sure you lay out when their start time is and what their salary is and any rules and things that apply, if they get a sick pay or don’t get sick pay.  So everything will be really clear before that person actually accepts that job with you.

Employment Contract

What we see sometimes is that people think:

‘Well, I’d like to wait and see if they are going to be any good before I offer them a contract’

But even though you haven’t given them a written contract, verbally they have a contract they’ve accepted and, if they start work, then they are under a form of contract, which means, the employment law will actually kick in from day one.

Our advice is

‘Make sure you’ve got your contract set up from the beginning’

We do get people sometimes who say:

‘I’m not prepared to accept those terms’

…or they try to change the terms if you give them after they’ve started. So make sure that you issue a contract before that person starts. That will save you from headache for later on!

Find out more about How to Manage Employees’ Probationary Period.

Do You Have A Bullet Proof Employment Contract?

Contact us, if you have more questions regarding employment contracts, HR Support or, HR consultancy.  Don’t have a contract to give staff?  We can help. Call 01980 622167 or email


Can I refuse employee holiday requests

Can I Refuse An Employee’s Holiday Request?


Hi I’m Jacqui Mann from J Mann Associates answering another one of your questions. The question today is,

‘Can I refuse an employee’s holiday request?

…and the answer to that is yes you can, but

It’s going to depend on what the reason is as to why you’re refusing that request:

  • It could be that they aren’t giving you enough notice of a holiday.
    So how much notice do they need to give you? It should be outlined in your holiday policy or in your company handbook or even on a notice board somewhere. Employees need to know how much notice they need to give you  before they put in a holiday request.
  • It could be that another member of staff is already off on holiday at that time so you would need to refuse that holiday request, or…
  • It could be that it’s not a great time of the year and you might have shutdowns included in your employment contract.
    For example, we have one client who has a very busy time of  year during May to July, nobody’s is allowed to take holiday during that period and that’s very clearly outlined in the employment contract.

You can actually stipulate when employees have to take the holiday.  I know years and years ago my dad worked in the car factories and they always had to take a certain fortnight in July. It was known as the Coventry fortnight, when all the car factories closed down.

Also, you can stipulate when your people can’t take holiday. So there is another reason why you refuse it, is if they’re actually requesting holiday at a time when there is no holiday allowed.

holiday request

The next problem comes in when they’ve already booked their holiday and you refuse the request

So what do you do then?

You can still refuse their request, you can say to them that it’s going be unauthorised absence if they decide to take that holiday. You don’t need to pay them for that because if they are on unauthorised absence they wouldn’t get paid during that time. You can also say to them, that they may face disciplinary action  on their return if they’re taking unauthorised absence.

It really depends on how you want to deal with it.

How you feel you can manage this situation. What you do need to think about is if you are going to set a precedent if you let them take holiday. Now it may be, that it’s a really special occasion and maybe it’s a special wedding anniversary or special birthday and they really need to take this holiday at that time. So you will need to look at it on an individual basis. But, don’t let your employees just decide to take the holiday whenever they fancy if it doesn’t suit the business.

So I hope that answered the question  “Can you refuse a holiday request?” Yes you can but you need to have a reason as to why you’re doing that.

So if you want anymore information about holidays, then you can always give us a call or drop us an email and there are some more information on the site about holiday pay and overtime and how to calculate holidays.

If you have further questions about your HR Support or Consultation needs call 01980 622167 email,  contact us here