Understanding Emotions: How to Help an Employee Who Might Be Going through a Difficult Patch in Their Personal Life

Depression can make work-life difficult for an employee. It’s hard to be productive and get things done when you don’t feel like yourself—and depression makes it difficult to get and stay motivated. Employees going through a difficult time may appear moody, distracted, forgetful, indecisive, tired or bored. But despite a shift in attitude that makes it harder to get work done, many employees facing depression aren’t likely to talk about it. Unfortunately, our country still holds a negative impression of mental health that’s more than apparent to those suffering from mental health concerns. As a result, a depressed individual may incorrectly feel weak or like they will “snap out of it,” rather than realize they need (and deserve) to seek help.  

What to Do for an Employee Facing a Difficult Time 

As an employer, you may notice an employee acting differently, and assume this person will come to you if they feel like talking. Unfortunately, this is not the best way to handle the situation. To offer your help to a depressed employee, just follow these tips from a leading provider of hiring support in Georgia—Happy Faces Personnel Group:  

  • Schedule time to talk. Let the employee know you are concerned because you’ve noticed a change in their behavior. Give them information about any services or resources available through the company health care benefits, such as an employee assistance program.  
  • Let them know you care. This can be as simple as, “I’m here to help you get back on track.” 
  • Don’t get the conversation get too personal. This is territory that is best covered by a counselor. They may let you know the source of their troubles, such as a relationship or health issue. But if the conversation starts to get too personal, be prepared to set limits.  
  • Remind them of their performance goals. An employee shouldn’t use depression as a crutch to avoid doing work. Explain that health care resources are available for help and guidance. However, whether or not they choose to use them, they are still expected to meet their goals.  

Stay Supportive, but Managerial 

As an employer, it’s important not to veer too far into friendship territory. It’s good to be supportive but still maintain your distance as a manager. Never attempt to play the role of counselor—it’s critical an employee get the care they need for trained mental health professionals.  

Is Your Workforce Stretched too Thin? 

A source of depression can be employees who are overworked. If you’ve noticed a dip in morale and performance, it could be that it’s time to add more members to your staff. Employees can pick up the slack for a short time, but long-term, this can be detrimental to their work performance.  

Check out Happy Faces Personnel Group 

We work with employers in the Atlanta area to find and place highly qualified employees. To learn more, contact us today!  


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