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How to Support a Staff Member During a Personal Crisis

Posted by Team Synerion on May 27, 2016 9:00:00 AM

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Every member of your staff has a life outside of their jobs. If they work with you long enough, at some point it’s likely they will experience some kind of personal crisis, like a personal health issue or having to care for a sick family member. How you support them during this period can have a huge impact on your future relationship. If your employee feels supported and looked after by their employer, there could be big benefits for employee loyalty and productivity when things return to normal.

So it’s a win-win for employees and employers as well as the right thing to do. Here are 4 tips to help you provide the support your employee needs to help get them through this difficult period.

Provide some time off if the situation merits it

Sometimes a few days off is just what the doctor ordered. They might be used to help out around the house for a sick partner, go to a variety of medical appointments or simply recoup after a difficult ordeal. It doesn’t have to be an extended leave of absence in order to have a big impact and make the employee feel ready to return to work at full capacity.  

Remember to be a manager and not their therapist

It’s important to make sure they are still performing their jobs to the best of their ability, even in a time of personal crisis. Make them feel supported but also clearly communicate job expectations. If their performance is sliding, you need to remind them what is expected.  You don’t want their ability to work to fall completely off the rails; this is bad for the company, bad for you and bad for the employee. Flexibility is important, but the employee still has a job to do. 

Help them make use of organizational resources and policies that already exist

Many organizations have a variety of resources available for employees in difficult times. Encourage them connect with human resources to get a full sense of what’s available. An employee assistance program can also help. They provide access to counselling and an even larger network of support and resources that might not be available internally at your organization. In any case, employees need to know they don’t have to deal with this problem alone; there are a lot of people who can help and it’s your job to make them aware of that fact.

Check-in on a regular basis

This may seem like a basic concept, but it’s often very important. Just asking how they are feeling a few times a week can make an employee feel like you are looking out for them and that you really care. Don’t ask too many questions and don’t try and get more information if they are not willing to share. Just ask how they are doing and let them open up if they feel comfortable. Sometimes just the option to talking to someone can make an employee feel better.

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Topics: employee success

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