Man stressed at work

Supporting Employees Navigating Personal Challenges

If you run a business or manage a team, you know your employees are critical to your success.

Sometimes, the people you’ve hired will face personal challenges that impact their ability to get the job done. Supporting your employees when they’re facing issues at home can go a long way to build trust and loyalty within your organization.

Finding Solutions Together

Handling sensitive matters as a manager or business owner requires empathy and a desire to help. Finding solutions to help your employees move forward in a positive way can be a collaborative process. Depending on what they’re dealing with, you might be able to offer the following work adjustments:

  • Be flexible with start and finish times
  • Changes to role (temporary or permanent)
  • Extra training or coaching (during work hours)
  • Offer the ability to flex hours during the workday for personal tasks
  • Increased supervision or support with managing workload
  • Mediation if there are difficulties between colleagues
  • Mentor or buddy systems (formal or informal)
  • Relaxing rules and limits for those with disability-related or sickness absences
  • Temporary reallocation of some tasks
  • Working remotely or from home

Listen without Judgment

It takes courage and vulnerability for an employee to talk about what they’re going through outside of work. It’s important to listen without judgment. Your role is to help your employee express what they’re dealing with and what they need from you to do their job effectively. Many employees can still perform at high levels with some collaborative adjustments to their work.

Conversations with employees about personal issues should remain confidential, although you may want to seek advice from administrative colleagues and supervisors for particularly complicated situations. Seek counsel from your Human Resources area when you’re not sure how to proceed to ensure you’re following your organization’s policies.

For information on how to recognize signs of a troubled employee and a review of basic tools to support your staff, click on the Blue Cross® Virtual Well-Being sessions below.

Sign up for future employer-focused and general interest webinars here, where you’ll also be able to check out past sessions and resources.

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Photo credit: Halfpoint

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