Soulwork Home Page

Check your spelling

Soulwork Online Help

Soulwork Humor: Funny stories


Soulwork Systemic Coaching: Summary

Soulwork Coach Training

Soulwork FAQ Questions & Answers


Emotional Issues
Anger & Rage

Eating Problems
Emotional Maturity
Grief & Loss
Inner Child

Pain Control
Stress Relief

Toxic Beliefs
Trauma & Stress
Weight Loss


Relationship Problems

Dissolve Conflicts
Emotional Blackmail

Enjoy Partnership
Evaluate Partners
Long-Distance Love
Love & Hate

Past Partners
Sexual Issues
Soul Mates


Family Challenges

Brothers & Sisters
Divorce & Children
Emotional Incest
Family Meetings
Family Secrets

Fathers & Daughters
Fathers & Sons
Learning Disorders
Mothers & Daughters
Mothers & Sons

Parental Alienation


Life Lessons
Bad Habits
Being Alone
Children's Challenges
Observing Feelings

Patterns in Love
Personal Growth
Quantum Leap
Self Esteem
Self Improvement
Self Intimacy
Stress & Relaxing
Therapist and Clients


Chaos Coaching

Inner Conflict
Expert Modeling
Learning Disorders

Sexual Abuse
Soul of Soulwork
Systemic Management
Therapist Abuse
Training Abuse



Interview with Martyn
Fee, Cost, Price

eXTReMe Tracker

Systemic Solutions for Problem Employees

Martyn Carruthers

Relationship management includes "getting things done through employees." Most employee problems involve attitude or performance. The motivation behind many problems include the relationship structure of employees, management and culture.

Few employees choose or want to be perceived as difficult by their
colleagues, human resources staff or management .

Employee problems include:

  • Environment
    Employee considers workplace to be unsafe or hazardous
    Workplace may be uncomfortable or difficult
    Employee's health may respond to real or perceived hazards
  • Skills
    Acceptable past performance did not increase or lessened
    Skills may be more appropriate for a different position or task
    Employees lack clear, detailed instructions
    Employee lacks needed supervision and may not know what to do
    Aberrant performance may indicate mental impairment
  • Beliefs
    Employees believes that high performance is not achievable
    Employee believes that work conditions are unacceptable 
    Limiting beliefs cause insecurity which deteriorates performance
  • Values
    Employee's values do not match those of the work team
    Employee's cultural values are not appropriate for the organization
  • Identity
    An employee's personality may not be appropriate for a task
    Manager and employee have incompatible personalities
    Employee is are emotionally immature and act irresponsibly
    An immature employee cannot control strong emotional reactions
  • Transpersonal
    An employee is not accepted by a workgroup or team
    An employee cannot adjust to the workplace or corporate culture
    An employee's faith or religion restricts certain actions

Dealing with employees is an important management function and a key responsibility of both management and human resources staff. Successful managers and HR staff can diagnose, evaluate and solve employee problems.

Most organizations have some difficult employees - including problem managers. A good manager can help a problem employee develop adequate skills, transfer to another location, find professional help, or get appropriate coaching. Difficult managers may require mentorship or relocation.

Mentorship in Upper Management . Manage Families in Organizations

  Manage Conflict in Organizations . Entrepreneurial Management in a Bank

Employee Mental Health

Mental health problems are often responses to unhealthy family relationships. Many employees bring their disappointments and unfulfilled relationships to the workplace, unconsciously trying to use the managers and co-workers to resolve family issues. The higher the responsibilities of the employee - the more likely that an employee's mental health issues will disrupt an organization.

Employee behaviors such as irritability, chronic lateness or poor judgment may be linked to mental health. A negative, moody, rude or arrogant attitude may be legitimate reasons for investigating an employee's mental health. Severe mood swings, anxiety attacks, substance abuse, symptoms of schizophrenia or chronic depression require investigation.

Schizophrenia . Depression . Suicide . Stress Management

Mental health guidelines:

  1. Many mental health problems are treatable and, if treated, cause only temporary disruption.
  2. Managers who can recognize mental health problems help employees get needed care and help protect a company from legal difficulties.
  3. Create a policy for employees who claim a mental health problem.
  4. If an employee claims a mental health disability, get professional legal and medical advice.

Aggressive and Violent Employees

If employees are aggressive and/or violent, there are heavy consequences of workplace violence for these employees, their colleagues and their managers.

Often the key issue is a systemic disturbance called "victim identification". An aggressive employee may have identified with a perceived victim, either at home or at work, and expresses anger FOR that victim. Following a lay-off, for example, some employees may express deep anger FOR those employees who are perceived as victims.

The symptoms are often easy to perceive. Most people suffering from victim identification are generally suspicious and seem to enjoy annoying, tormenting or attacking anybody who can be labeled "victimizer". This label may include managers and Human Resources staff.

Such violence may be diagnosed as a symptom of borderline schizophrenia or depression. Few victim identified people can stop their simmering anger, although most violence may remain in the person's fantasies or be expressed as petty vandalism. Systemic coaching facilitates a rapid resolution for identified employees who want to change, and understanding and forgiveness from the work group.

Prevent Employee Problems

Guidelines for preventing employee problems:

  • Relationship diagnosis as a pre-hiring prerequisite
  • Provide orientation for new employees
  • Clarify expectations with job descriptions and an employee handbook
  • Describe appropriate conduct and unacceptable behavior
  • Train managers to recognize and evaluate employee problems
  • Provide performance reviews
  • Document functions and performance history
  • Investigate grievances
  • Apply fair and objective discipline
  • Discharge inadequate employees

Diagnose Employee Problems

Simple discussions may dissolve simple problems. Chronic behavior or performance problems usually require more attention. Some questions about common employee problems are:

  • Poor performance
    Does the employee lack essential skills? What affects performance? Are there standards or goals by which employee performance can be assessed? Is the employee generally disorganized? Would coaching or additional training be useful?
  • Work incompatibility
    Are the employee's skills and preferences compatible with their assigned tasks or regular duties? Is additional training or reassignment appropriate?
  • Lateness
    Absences - late arrivals, long lunches, and early departures ... Is an employee only occasionally late. Is punctuality important? If lateness is a chronic problem, discuss the potential consequences with the employee.
  • Disruptive or difficult employees
    What is the real problem? Has the employee "space" to express feelings and concerns?

Remain positive and focus on the employee's contribution to the company. Provide constructive feedback.

Evaluate Employee Problems

The following questions help evaluate the seriousness of an offense and an appropriate response:

  • Was the employee informed of the rules?
  • Are the rules really rules - or are they just for show
  • Do the rules support an efficient and safe organization?
  • Do the rules require reasonably expected employee conduct?
  • Did an investigation determine whether the employee violated the rules?
  • Did an investigation include the employee's story?
  • Did an investigation show that the employee acted improperly?
  • Was the investigation fair and objective?
  • Is this rule applied to all employees in the same way?
  • Are there mitigating factors that might justify or excuse misconduct?

Solve Employee Problems

Most employees want to succeed and want to co-operate with their managers, supervisors and co-workers, and most problems can be solved with ignoring, coaching, or mentoring. Unmotivated or uncooperative employees can disrupt a workplace or an organization. There are four main approaches to problem-solving problem employees - ignore, coach, mentor and discipline.

  • Ignore is usually better for minor first-time infractions, especially if the employee is made aware that the manager knows about the offense. Most employees avoid becoming frequent offenders.
  • Coach is useful for important first-time infractions and for performance problems with entry-level or non-professional employees. A manager works one-on-one with problem employees or assigns another employee to work with the employee to overcome shortcomings. The coach should provide the employee with feedback and solutions for improving their performance. Systemic Coaching can quickly change an employee's behavior.
  • Mentor is more appropriate for senior or professional staff. Instead of providing demonstration and feedback on specific skills, a manager or designated person can demonstrate and provide feedback on integrity, on creating an appropriate attitude for the person's position and organizational culture.
  • Discipline may consist of written warnings, reassignment to other duties or dismissal. Discipline is more appropriate for serious infractions and chronic problems, such as if policies or important rules are ignored.

In-House Service

We offer in-house coaching for executives and managers: systemic coaching solutions and expert modeling to rapidly improve effectiveness, performance and productivity.

Relationship Management

We coach leaders, managers and executives to recognize employee problems, to make performance interviews, to hire, fire and inspire employees and to provide remedial coaching.

Prices and Conditions

If you like our work, please link to us. If you know someone who might benefit,
please mention or

For online help, email us at:

Soulwork systemic coaching in America & Hawaii


Soulwork systemic coaching in England, Wales & Scotland

Soulwork systemic coaching in Croatia & Serbia

Soulwork systemic coaching in Poland



Have You Suffered Enough?

 Where are you now? Understand your emotions, fixations and enmeshments
What do you hope for? Know your goals and stop sabotaging yourself
Do you feel resourceful? Learn to develop your inner resources
Do emotions block you? Relationship problems and mentor damage
Do your beliefs limit you? Change limiting beliefs and end dependence
Do you feel connected? Resolve identity issues to recover lost resources
Is your partner happy? Build healthy partnership (or separate peacefully)
Are your children healthy? Happy parents better manage family problems
Do you want team success? Team leaders and their teams develop together
Do you have complex goals? Specialty coaching, counseling & therapy

Plagiarism is theft. Copyright © Martyn Carruthers 1996-2018  All rights reserved. Soulwork Systemic Coaching was primarily developed by Martyn Carruthers to help people solve emotional problems and relationship conflicts to achieve their goals. These concepts and strategies are for general knowledge only. Consult a physician about medical conditions and before changing medical treatment. Don't steal intellectual property ... get permission to post, publish or teach Martyn's work - email