Personal Issues Your Employees Will Face and How to Deal With Them

Business.com / Managing / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

When your employees face turmoil out of the office, it is your turn to step up to make sure productivity doesn't plummet.

Being a manager or high-ranking employee comes with the responsibility of taking care of the employees as more than just a paycheck or social security number.

Making sure people have their personal lives in order not only reduces the negativity in the office but allows the staff to work at an optimum level.

While some employees can compartmentalize their problems and leave them out of the workplace, many will not be able to do this. It is your job as a manager to help them through this or give them tools to help them through this trying time.

Related Article:How to Improve Relations Between Your Managers and Employees

Financial Troubles

Financial troubles might end up plaguing some of your staff regardless of their age. This can lead to them being out of the office for phone calls from creditors or generally distracted from work. Reducing this worry cannot be done simply by paying the person more but helping them by educating them.

  • Bring in a financial advisor who can help staff budget for their salaries. This will pay for itself in increased productivity as people will not be worried whether they will make ends meet during the month.
  • There might be a time where an employee needs a check a few days early, do not make this a habit, but it can be done once in a while. This could help them avoid late charges or increased credit card interest rates.
  • Providing lunch for the office will not solve anybody’s financial troubles. This can help though as many people eat out every day of the week not realizing how expensive it can be. The fact that free lunch is a perk will score you points with the financially stable employees as well.

Divorce or Breakups

That truth is that a person will be deeply impacted by a divorce or breakup regardless of what you do as a manager. Supporting your employee in this tough time is important as well as making sure the employee doesn’t have a drop in production. Dealing with a breakup is a different process for everyone. Everyone processes emotions in their own way.

  • Take a bit of work off of the employees plate especially if they have a court appearance or have just moved out of their marital home. Many employees might want to immerse themselves in work and that is fine. Make sure you offer to lessen the load for them, though.
  • As a manager take this person and a few others out to lunch on the company dime. Singling out the person who just divorced can be uncomfortable but having a few laughs with coworkers could brighten their day.
  • Let the person know you have an open door policy and although you aren’t a therapist you can be there to listen.

Substance Abuse

Substance abuse is more rampant in offices throughout the country than many people realize. The fact that substance abuse comes in so many forms can be something that is contributing to that. Substance abuse shouldn’t be tolerated regardless of employee status or performance. The cold hard truth is that you are paying an employee for their sober time, not the time they are drunk or high.

Related Article: 6 Ways to Prevent Employee Burnout

How to deal with this:  

  • Document everything for the first offense. Substance abuse is something that certain companies fire people for on the spot.
  • Recommending or requiring completion of a substance abuse course or counseling is a great move. Many people will have their hand forced if it comes down to sobering up or being unemployed.
  • Make sure the stress of work isn’t making this person turn to drugs or alcohol. Sometimes it can be healthier for a person to find a new job if their current one is causing them to abuse drugs or alcohol.

Getting Turned Down for a Promotion

While this is something that happens in a professional environment, people tend to take getting turned down for a promotion personally. This could lead to a disdain for management or even a severe drop in production. How you deal with this could help save this person’s career or allow them to go down a destructive path in where they end up unemployed and the company is out of a former high-performing employee.

How to deal with this:

  • Many people want an explanation for why they didn’t get the promotion. You can give them this but make sure that things are all concrete rather than personal opinions. Bring back old reviews, quarterly performances, any issues the employee might have had, and anything else that is relevant. Once a person sees this they are much less likely to take this personally but rather a solid business decision.
  • This person being up for a promotion and narrowly missing it means they are productive and their work is of high quality. Give this person a bit more responsibility without a pay or title change. This will show that you trust them with more responsibility but just couldn’t give them the job.
  • In the case of negativity, it is important to sit this person down and let them know this will not be allowed. Being upset about a missed promotion is natural but voicing negative opinions about the company or staff will never be tolerated. Employees should be able to manage emotions of disappointment without bringing other staff down.

Related Article: Helpful Tips for Maximizing Employee Productivity in a World of Distractions

As you can see you will be doing quite a bit of talking about uncomfortable things as a manager. With time you will know how to handle a bulk of these situations although there will always seem to be a new one that befuddles you. Each employee’s situation will be different so treat them fairly but firmly and do not let them take advantage of any of the above-listed situations.

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