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  • #967419
    Jasmin
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    Hi Everyone,

    We own a foreign exchange small business and we have less than 5 employees working for us. We operate 6 days a week and each day there are 2 employees looking after the shop. We shift around workers, so some employees might be working once a week, some might be working more etc.

    Since this job isn’t very simple, we have to put each new employee into rigorous training in order to learn how to run the place.

    But I am having an issue with a certain employee, she comes in once a week and it seems that every time we teach her something – she forgets! :S It’s as though every time, we want to teach her something else, she would forget what we taught her so easily. That means that she is more prone to mistakes and ends up losing money.

    I mean, okay maybe I have exaggerated a bit too much… she can do the basic tasks but we want employees that can do more than just the basics, i.e. give good customer service, understand the customers need & market our other products, uphold government procedures with collecting details etc.

    I guess the good thing about her is that she is very trustable and she is very good with doing jobs that do not require… (lack of better words)… using your head.

    Now, I know that most of you will be thinking ‘fire her’ but at the moment we cannot because since this is a small business, currently we only hire employees that we know to be trustable since the nature of this business is to deal with money.

    What do you think we should do? I was thinking of making her review our handbook before she comes into work everyday…

    #1026002
    Steve_Minshall
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    Could the issue be that because she only comes in once a week there is no opportunity to cement knew learning in place. In which case you could look at formalising the critical parts of the job into check sheets or the like to force adherence to the procedures.

    #1026003
    CathyHalliday
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    Hi Jasmin,

    I am in a different industry, but have had thousands of employees over the years. I have always found that you are better off working with each persons strengths, rather than trying to turn an employee into something they are not.

    Unfortunately it is near impossible to develop abilities in an employee that just aren’t there. The only way I know to develop learning ability is if the employee has a massive desire to learn and to be able to do what you want her to do. If she doesn’t have that desire, then reading the manual each day will feel like a punishment to her and you may find that she performs at a lower level in all areas and starts to resent the job as a whole.

    Is there a way you can utilise her strengths and have another staff member make up for her weaknesses? If not, sometimes we just have to cut our losses and recruit – even when it’s not convenient.

    It’s a tough situation….Good Luck with it all.

    #1026004
    FletcherTax
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    I agree with Steve

    Maybe get her to write her own notes for future purposes, or maybe you can supply some to her to remember certain processes/norms?

    Or maybe get her to come in for a full week as a one off to get it down pat?

    Janna

    #1026005
    ray_223
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    I agree with the once a week thing would make it difficult to learn.
    Initial training should be more frequently, say 4 half days a week for instance.

    Otherwise, if you have hired her with the expectation that she can do the full job and she can’t you will need to let her go.
    You can hopefully do this nicely, sit down with her and explain that if she can’t provide a certain level of service it will cost the business greatly.
    Has she been hired under a 3 month trial?
    (Is that still an option any HR people?)

    Unless … you business is big enough to keep her on but with less responsibility.

    Good luck

    #1026006
    Jasmin
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    Thank you for all your suggestions.

    She is a ‘fully trained’ employees, during the holidays she would work 3 times a week and she would be able to retain the information since she was practising them… although she made mistakes here and there. Now since rosters have changed, she can only work once a week, I really fear mistakes will happen especially since she will be working on the weekend and on the weekend we only hire 1 employee to look after the shop.

    Now, I had a talk with her. I am very straight forward and honest with her and she doesn’t get offended because I already knew her before she was hired. She admitted that she forgets easily and she told me that she is able to concentrate in the morning but once it hits 3pm, I have noticed that shes loses concentration and she admitted this herself. Our business hours are from 10am – 6pm.

    We talked about going over the training manual and she said she was totally okay with going over it before she comes in. I was also thinking that I should head down there on Saturday and spend a few hours doing some extra training with her… I mean I admit that she was not trained as well as the other employees (so it is a fault on my part as well) but I will let you know how it goes!

    Hopefully, when we grow more and recruit more employees we can slowly phase her out (if she does not improve) on the basis that the shifts available are not on her free days. But till then, she is the only one we have that agrees to work on Saturdays.

    :) :)

    #1026007
    Bookkeeping Solutions
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    Something just struck a chord with me – she loses concentration after 3pm….

    This might be completely left of field, but could her lack on concentration simply be the old drop in her blood sugar levels??? Maybe encourage her to have a piece of fruit or something similar and see if that can improve her??

    I know that I can be a bit ratty myself if I dont have a sugar fix of some kind in the afternoon. And I think that there was a recent advertising campaign highlighting 3.30-itis……

    #1026008
    Jasmin
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    That’s so true… =)

    I will let her know.

    #1026009
    wordmistress
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    Ahh yes, the old 3.30-itis problem. I get it as soon as I’ve digested lunch! While it might seem odd for you, as her employer, to give her nutrition advice, she really needs to hit the right balance of low GI, high fibre for the day. Even going for a walk when the ‘fuzzies’ take hold can refresh the brain. Could you send her out on errands when she starts feeling vague? She could go to the bank or the Post Office, or even walk around the vicinity for 10 minutes. A good supply of cold water is also helpful.

    I’m not sure a sugar hit is the answer. Trust me, it FEELS like the right answer any day of the week but it’s actually counter-productive.

    Good luck with it :). And I think it’s really admirable of you, Jasmin, to want to know how to improve the situation rather than putting the employee out of a job.

    #1026010
    King
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    I used to work in disability training and there are a number of strategies that can be used – you just have to find the right one.

    Look at developing a simple check sheet of the parts of the processes where the errors are occurring ( or maybe all if there are not too many steps.)

    #1026011
    Karen Wardle
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    Hi Jasmin

    Not knowing what recruitment process you used, it is hard to say for sure what could have gone wrong. My guess would be a combination of things.

    I applaud your comment that it is partly your fault. This will mean that you are unlikely to have the same problem in the future because you are willing to accept some responsiblity for improving the situation.

    A lot of people always point the finger at the employee and wonder why they constantly end up with less than ideal staff.

    Good luck for next time :)

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