The ideal working environment is one where people are happy and able to undertake their work in an effective and efficient manner. When employees are happy, productivity and morale is usually high and a company is more likely to meet targets and provide customer satisfaction.
It is easy to see why businesses and managers benefit from a happy and productive workforce. Sadly, there are often times when an employee will be far from their best. If left unchecked, this can have implications for a company.
There are many reasons why an employee may feel stressed at work. They may struggle with their workload, they may have issues with colleagues and aspects like the commute, or their working environment may affect them. There are also non-work related issues that can affect people in the working environment. Anyone who is dealing with health issues, financial difficulties, problems at home or issues in relationships may find that they are far from their best at work.
Issues that can arise from people feeling stressed or ill at work can include:
- Conflict with colleagues and supervisors
- An inability to carry out normal tasks
- Undertaking poor quality work or not completing work
- Having issues dealing with customers, stakeholders and external partners
These are all issues that not only affect the employee but they can adversely influence the workforce and the company.
#1: Engage troubled employees in conversation
One of the best ways that management can support troubled employees is through talking with them.Quite often, many people feel under stress or pressure because they don’t have an outlet where they can discuss issues and worries. By arranging a private meeting and asking questions about the employee’s health and well-being, a manager can offer support and help the individual understand he or she is not alone.
#2: Make reasonable adjustments
While every company is different and will have their own policies regarding time-off or working hours, most firms understand the benefits of making reasonable adjustments to people’s workload or working hours when required. Shifting the work-life balance is often a valuable solution in helping people come to terms with difficulties in their life. Some of the reasonable adjustments a company can make include:
- Allowing a troubled employee time off
- Offering flexibility with regard to working hours or availability
- Allowing an employee to undertake light duties or a different role
- Providing the employee with training and support to manage their job better
A company that offers flexibility will be seen as a progressive and supportive firm, which can boost its reputation. Being seen as a company that cares for its employees is important in maintaining staff morale and in improving the company’s recruitment capabilities.
#3: Alcohol and substance abuse guidance
Everyone deals with stress in their own way but many people turn to alcohol and substance abuse to medicate their emotions and relieve stress. This behavior often starts in a controlled manner but in some people, it can escalate quickly. When people are using alcohol or other substances to alleviate their stress, it can lead to other problems, including poor performance or erratic behavior in work.
This is why it is important for firms to be aware of what issues their employees face at work. Not every employee will be forthcoming about his or her behavior or how he or she deals with stress. This is why the use of an oral fluid lab test can help companies deal with any substance abuse problems. Once a company knows the facts surrounding an employee, they can provide them the support they need and at the same time safeguard the workplace.
#4: Keeping in contact
No matter the issue the employee experiences and what solution the company has chosen, there is a need to keep in regular contact with the employee. Firms have a duty of care to all of their employees and remaining in regular contact shows the troubled employee that people care about them and it provides a link to the workforce.
Firms need to balance the needs of all of their employees, which mean at times there is a need to isolate or protect employees from an individual who needs further support. There is no reason why all employees cannot be cared for at the same time; however, there is a need to understand the issues in the workplace, and for individual employees, to be able to create a solution that is suitable for all employees and the company.
The help and support management can offer troubled employees can help the workforce stay on track while assisting individuals to get better and feel more like themselves.