How To Deal With Employees Who Have Personal Problems

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As an HR and operations professional, I am only too aware of the problems that can arise when employees have things going on in their private lives. For them, life can turn into a genuine struggle and their performance could dip. And for you, that means the possibility of a substantial drop in productivity.

In situations like these, it’s important to be the best boss that you possibly can. But how do you go about it? Well, in this guide, I’m going to give you some handy pointers and explain how employers can help out staff with personal problems. Let’s take a closer look.

Paper Clips

Remember, you aren’t a therapist

First of all, let’s get one thing straight. We all have relationships in our lives, and each of them has boundaries. That goes for you, the people you serve in your business, and your employees. It’s important not to overstep the mark when it comes to your in-work relationships, and remember that you aren’t a therapist. Put yourself in their shoes- would you want to tell them about your troubles at home, or your struggles with alcohol? Well, there’s a good chance they feel the same. Stick to the facts, be understanding, but keep that relationship from developing any further.

Be fair

Remember that anything you give one employee, another will expect the same treatment. It’s important to have a process in writing that you can follow so that everyone knows where the land lies. There will be times when your employee tugs at your heartstrings. Not purposefully, in most cases, but just because you feel so sorry about their situation. But, it’s important not to offer special treatment of any kind. If you do, it will come back and bite you in the behind.

Understand the effects

Don’t underestimate the problems that personal problems can bring to the workplace. And, be aware that it may not be your employee’s fault. For example, what happens if they, or somebody they care for, are in a car accident? As accident specialists, Larson Law Firm say, it can have a significant effect on people, that can easily seep into all aspects of their lives. It can take a tremendous emotional and physical toll – and you have to do your bit to deal with it. The key part of that message is to remember is the emotional impact – and the general problems with mental health that are so apparent these days. Which leads me on to my next point…

Look for appropriate help

Are you signed up for an employee assistance program, or something similar? And, to what extent does your medical insurance offer stretch to? If you are just covering the basics, then it’s not going to be much help to your employees – and it’s your business that are going to feel the effects. The more time your employees stay off sick, the more money you will lose. And, it is a costly experience to keep on hiring new people and training them up. So, be fair with your medical insurance provision, and find a policy that stretches to all kinds of issues. If they have a broken arm, you will expect your policy to cover their problem. So, make sure it is the same if they have any problem with their heads, too.

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