How to help your employees through personal difficulties
April 25 2023 - People tend to feel the need to keep their personal and work lives separated. But this isn’t always healthy - especially when they’re going through personal difficulties.
Employees that feel their employers are there for them are likely to have high morale, engagement, and productivity. On the other hand, workers that feel they have to cope with challenges alone are less likely to feel a sense of belonging and perform well at work.
So, how can you create a culture of empathy in your workplace?
In this article, we’ll share three ways you can help your employees through personal difficulties.
Developing open lines of communication is the first step to supporting your employees. When they’re convinced you will listen actively and without judgement, they’ll be able to confide in you with peace of mind.
In order to achieve this, it’s important you give your employees opportunities to voice their troubles. Encourage them to talk to you about their personal wellbeing during their monthly 121s. But in general, you need to send the message that you have an open-door policy at all times.
When employees do take a chance and open up at work, it’s critical that there are people that have the skills to help them. Senior members of staff and especially line managers need to receive training specifically for this purpose.
There are many ways that you can get the skills they need to support members of staff. For example, the mental health charity Mind offers training, including self-paced e-learning courses, virtual classes, and experts delivering sessions in the workplace.
Regardless of the method you choose, it needs to be regular. Training isn’t a one-off, it’s an ongoing process of development. So, if your designated support staff aren’t thoroughly drilled in supporting others, they’ll have lower chances of recalling their training in a crisis.
Work with professionals
Having an internal support structure is vital, yet there are some situations for which specialist help might be necessary. For cases like these, you should have a network of external professional that you can signpost your employees to when they need help.
This could include recommended healthcare professionals such as doctors or therapists. When it comes to matters of physical or mental health, access to support from highly trained experts is a must have.
If an employee is going through a divorce or other difficulties concerning their family life, they will benefit from access to a firm of family lawyers that can provide practical advice.
Tailor to differences
The employees, needs, and opportunities of each workplace are unique. The key is to find the combination of tactics that will be most effective in helping your employees through their personal difficulties.
What can you change to create a more empathetic workplace? Read more of our articles on this website.