How to Support an Employee Going through a Crisis

One employee’s personal crisis can become a big problem for your business in an instant. That’s unfortunate and even inconvenient but it can easily become a reality. (Especially during a time of disruption, caused by a global pandemic and subsequent shutdowns and re-openings.) When employees return to work — or continue to work through such turbulent times — crisis can manifest in various ways. When it affects an employee, it can likewise have a substantial impact on your business.

Crisis Comes in Many Forms

We’ve all heard the statistics and figures about the toll the lock-downs have taken. Drug use and overdoses are at historic highs. Depression runs rampant. Job losses are also a huge problem and with those losses, undue financial pressure. Then, there’s just the matter of separation of family members and close friends from one another.
We all have life events that distract us from work from time to time — an ailing family member, a divorce, the death of a friend. You can’t expect someone to be at their best at such times. But as a manager what can you expect? How can you support the person to take care of themselves emotionally while also making sure they are doing their work (or as much of it as they are able to)? —Harvard Business Review
The divorce rate is also expected to spike when all the data is calculated. Plus, births have actually fallen — not risen — as formerly expected. The point is crisis comes in many forms and can emerge in any one (or more) of your employees’ lives. When this happens, it can have a profound effect on your business.

Ways Businesses can Deal with an Employee in a Crisis Situation

Fortunately, there are ways businesses can deal with an employee in a crisis situation. Nearly regardless of the circumstances, you can help your team member get through and stay a productive part of your company. Here are some of the most effective strategies to help employees cope with personal crisis:
  • Encouragement. Okay, let’s begin with an obvious need — being supportive. Offering your support and encouragement can do a lot — a whole lot — for someone experiencing uncertainty and anxiety. A few kind, supportive words occasionally can have a really big impact on his or her attitude, work quality/quantity, and more positives.
  • Incentives. Another way to help an employee in a crisis is to reward them with incentives. Just a small reward can help lift up a person’s spirits in profound ways. If you can find the right rewards, they will indeed big a real return on investment.
  • Flexibility. Of course, offering him or her the flexibility they need will also do a lot for their mental and emotional health. By letting them customize their schedule and offering a combination of work-from-home and on-site, you can help them get through a very tough time.
  • Contingencies. An employee experiencing a personal crisis might not be able to maintain a routine schedule. If you are confident this will only last for a short amount of time, you can have someone else step in and take some of their workload.
  • Referrals. Unfortunately, not every situation will come to a positive end. Some crises are just too much and result in having to let an employee go or accept a resignation. If this happens, you can always offer a referral to help him or her to help them secure a new position.
What other suggestions do you have? Please take a few minutes to share your own thoughts and feelings so that others can benefit from your experiences and perspective! Interested in learning more about business? Then just visit Waters Business Consulting Group.

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