Are You an Empathic Manager? How to Deal with Employee Crises


All Managers will know it is no secret that their employees each have their own personal issues; including their families’ issues, as well. Individuals get sick from time to time and so do their children. Divorces happen, and extended family members pass away.

These disasters, both minor and major all influence individuals’ focus and mind-set during the working day and frequently require time off work.

The issues are frequently genuinely serious and sometimes sensitive. As a Manager you have your own issues, and often targets linked to business development are your professional targets. So how can you juggle your own issues, while ensuring the business is moving forward in a fair and diplomatic way?

To start with, by acknowledging there is no getting away from this aspect of the role. By failing to manage individuals’ stresses, their work will suffer, affecting the whole team and yourself.

On the off chance that somebody uncharacteristically makes a series of mistakes in their work, call them in for a discussion. You could ask them questions about how they would change things at work, or ask about anything bothering them at work. This can set up a good chance for them to talk about anything more personal.

Even if they don’t immediately disclose any personal issues, at any rate you have demonstrated you are open ears if they require.

Secondly, recognise that output is more valuable than input; what an individual produces over a long period of time matters, rather than the number of clocked in hours at work.

Often, employees are happy to adhere to flexi-work schedules in order to make up extra time. Many companies are now offering working at home, especially to account for any loss of company hours.

They may require more extended leave, even though others may want to come in to continue a routine and have normality. In the event that they do require time off, you can reshuffle others’ tasks, and make the disruption as little as possible. After being amenable, you will often find that others are much willing to go the extra mile for you.

To keep your team motivated, usually others don’t need to know the details; a sympathetic team will know that it is serious situation. They will most likely understand that if anything happened, you would give them the same level of consideration.

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