Our resident SME Agony Uncle Bobby Kerr is back

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Our resident SME Agony Uncle Bobby Kerr is back, and this week Bobby talks lazy co-workers, how to splash €100,000 and the value of interns.  
 
Understaffed and Overworked?
First up this week is Brian, whose query is regarding co-workers and how to deal with underperforming and lazy staff. Brian is employed at a busy golf course, and there have been a number of redundancies over the past number of years. The remaining 6 staff have had to carry the workload since the cuts, and now a number of staff members have begun to slack off and have become quite lazy in their day to day roles.
Brian has already raised the issue with management about the particular staff members, and is now wondering if this was in fact the best way to approach the issue.

Bobby’s Advice
This is quite a complex matter, and is indeed down to management to take further action. It would appear that all staff members may be on the same level, but it is unclear from Brian’s mail whether this is the case or not. Either way, this will need to be dealt with swiftly. It is advised that the company proceed down the right HR channels and have a system in place. There has clearly been a downsizing exercise at this golf course by management.

There are a few factors to consider in a situation like this. People have different definitions as to what lazy actually means. There is a split within the camp and could get quite ugly which is what management need to avoid at all costs. Usually, matters like this simply come down to who has the best paper trail, and staff records of incidents are important for management to be able to identify the underlying problems, and how to deal with it as effectively as possible.
 
How to Spend €100,000
Next up this week is short and sweet, and is from John in Mullingar, who has simply asked Bobby what he should do with a lump sum of €100,000.

Bobby’s Advice
This is an interesting one. It all depends on John’s life stage, and where he is with his career and his personal life. If John has a mortgage and a young family, potentially this is where the money would be best spent. Alternatively if John is older and has most of his mortgage paid off, then investing the money might be more beneficial. My advice with investing is to never invest in something that you don’t know about, inside out. For example, investing in property or a business that is not familiar would be a very risky decision. A review of personal circumstances, and seeking advice from financial professionals would be the best way to approach this to ensure John is making the right decision and based on all the facts.
 
 
The Ins and Outs of Internships
The final query this week deals with the treatment of interns in companies, and what Bobby’s thoughts are on the matter. This query came in anonymously but is timely in the sense that new research shows that one third of interns feel that they have been taken advantage of by employers.
 
Bobby’s Advice
I have very strong views on this. I believe that employers need to take internships very seriously and respect the interns as they would regular full time staff members. Employers should not take on interns unless they have a structure and/or mentor in place. Internships are becoming increasingly popular with businesses and looks like they are here to stay.

Equally, people who are looking for internships should undertake research before applying to businesses for positions. It is very worthwhile to get an understanding of a business or company before making contact and applying for an internship position.

Internships offer wonderful opportunities for people looking to start their careers, and with the right guidance and support can be very beneficial to both the intern, and the employer as a whole.
 
If you have a business or SME related query you would like answered - you can get in touch with Bobby each week by simply sending a short mail to [email protected]
 

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