As a leader, you probably dread managing emotional employees. The tears, the anger, or the screaming fits might leave you both embarrassed and stressed. How do you stay calm and engage with these volatile team members? Supervising an employee who is experiencing a difficult time can be challenging. However, there are ways to engage with employees who are experiencing a crisis. These tips can help you effectively connect with your employees who need support.
Many people find it challenging to discuss their emotions, so it is crucial to maintain an open work culture that supports these difficult conversations. Ask your employees simple, non-judgmental questions and let them explain how their emotions are impacting their work performance and what they need for support.
Avoid Making Assumptions
Do not attempt to guess what symptoms an employee might have and how they might be affecting productivity. Your employee may be highly effective at their job and simply need support measures during stressful periods.
Everyone’s emotions are different, so treat people as individuals with unique issues instead of focusing on the problem. Adapt your support to accommodate the individual whenever possible. These individual adjustments need not be costly or require significant changes.
If you have specific grounds for concern, be honest about them. If your team member is having high absence levels or impaired performance, it is crucial to address these issues early on.
Keep it Confidential
Assure the employee of confidentiality. This sensitive information that an employee is sharing with you. Share this information with as few people as possible. Maintain strict policies to ensure this and discuss with the individual what information they would like shared and what parts of the conversation they wish to keep confidential.
Create an Action Plan
Develop an action plan with your employees to identify the signs of their mental health and emotional issues. Identify the symptoms, triggers, the possible impact on their work, and whom to contact in a crisis.
Encourage employees to seek advice and support. If your organization offers help such as an Employee Assistance Program, it may be able to arrange counseling for your employees.
An employee might not be ready to talk with you straight away. If this is the case, outline what support is available to them and assure your employees that you are available and ready to get them the support they need.
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