Keeping your personal life from intervening with your professional life isn’t always easy to do. When you’re going through an especially rough time, you’re not able to perform at your best, no matter how hard you try. As a business owner or manager, learning how to effectively support and manage your staff when they’re having personal problems is essential.
It takes a true leader to successfully learn how to show compassion and empathy while still managing to be professional and keep employees productive. Below, are a few suggestions on how to find that balance.
Know the Signs
Most employees are afraid and/or embarrassed to come to their employers about issues they’re having at home. Whether they’re emotionally struggling with a divorce, recently lost a loved one, or have a child currently enrolled in adolescence treatment in California. Many feel as if they will be judged or could essentially lose their job for their declining performance. So, it’s up to you to pay attention.
The best way to know when something is going wrong with your employees is to have a positive relationship with them from the beginning. Getting to know them on a personal level as well as professionally allows you to easily identify signs of emotional distress.
Address Your Concerns Gently
If you recognize that your employee is struggling, addressing it is the next step. You must address the issue in a manner that makes them feel secure enough to open up. Tell them what you’ve noticed about their behaviour and performance in the workplace. Then, express that you are there to help in any way that you can. Do not address the issue in front of your peers. Also, don’t try to force them to give you information if they’re not ready.
Provide Your Assistance (Within Reason)
Once your employee starts talking about their problems, listen without passing judgment. Then, offer your assistance (within reason). You don’t want to cross the lines too far into their personal lives (like offering to be a mentor to their troubled teen). Also, you don’t want to offer a solution that ultimately hurts the rest of your staff (such as giving them so much time off that their workload causes an issue for other employees).
You might suggest they work from home for a few weeks, or take personal or medical leave, you can also offer to give them more flexible work hours or light duty until their matter is resolved.
Recommend Experts or Programs
Sometimes personal problems require more than just some time off from work or light duty. As a business owner or manager, there is only so much you can do to try and support them. That’s why it is ideal to recommend professional services or programs that can help. For instance, if your employee is struggling with depression, you could recommend they go through the employee assistance program for therapy. If they recently lost a loved one, you might recommend support groups in the area they could attend.
After helping your employees find some resolution to their issues, let them know you still care by checking in on them regularly. You don’t have to make a big deal of it, but pass by their office or workstation and just say hello. Talk a bit about their problem and reiterate that you’re available if they need you. If you notice they are doing better at work and appear to be doing better personally, take the time to point it out and express how happy you are with their progress.
Talk Openly With the Staff
Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is becoming increasingly challenging. Creating a foundation where your employees feel they can come to you with anything can make it easier for you to support them when things aren’t going well. So, spend time getting to know your team on a personal level and establish an open-door policy where they can reach out to you and talk freely about issues in or out of the workplace.
Sometimes the lines get blurred when it comes to your personal and professional life. When things go wrong at home, it can impact your ability to be productive in all areas of your life. Instead of ignoring the problem or immediately reprimanding your staff for poor performance, take the time to be a source of support. By using the advice provided above you help to create a healthy work environment where your team can flourish.
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Anne started freelance writing and blogging in college while studying marketing and journalism and has since found something of a career writing about various business and professional topics around the internet. She’s experienced with both blog content and on-site copywriting, thanks for reading!