As much as you might love to be Tony Robbins for everyone on your workforce – the person who comes to the rescue and has all the answers for whatever ails them emotionally or psychologically…
…the reality of the situation, I’m sorry to say, is that you are probably the worst person for that specific role.
I know you intend well of course… but not knowing the right words to say or the right action to take next, has a very real possibility of making the situation worse.
There is an art to facilitation – the process of working through emotional and psychological challenges one-on-one with another human being.
I went to university for 3 years and upon graduating did a further 5 years of post-graduate training, I thought I was good at it.
The real world told me that I wasn’t. I didn’t really get good until I was 12 years in.
We, myself and the team I’ve handpicked, didn’t really get to call ourselves legitimate “professionals” until we’d worked for 100’s of hours with clients and helped them to find paths that led to them putting an end to their self-sabotage.
And 17 years later I am STILL constantly and never endingly working on the newest innovations that come to light in my profession so that I can continually better my best.
Employees, no matter their age, see their employers in the same light that they would a parent.
It’s been my experience that children, almost without exception, will NEVER confide 100% in their parents.
But one-on-one, adults open their soul wide open for therapists, psychologists, and friends who they trust. These people know EVERYTHING about them – the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Friends are sworn to secrecy. And therapists/coaches/mentors are bound by client confidentiality. You, as the business owner or the Human Resources person are the hovering parent in this equation – the adult supervision who they would never dream of opening up to in a million years for fear of it back firing on them.
Think about it…
Your employees are never going to tell you why they’re only working at 65% of their potential… and have been getting paid for 100% effort for the last four months.
If by chance, you do end up finding out that the reason for their declining performance is because, for example, their husband or wife is cheating on them… what are you going do about it? How are you going to make it better?
And I know that you know, that just telling them “Improve or get fired” is the LEAST effective thing you can do to inspire a person to function as their best self. The stress caused by this ultimatum is the #1 reason for employees lying about their situation, hiding their situation or grinding themselves into the ground just to give you the impression they are coping fine doing their job.
You’ve also given them a justification that allows them to rationalize that it is okay to lie about why they really need to take time off, because they see you as an uncaring person who might try and remove them from the business the moment they are not 100% ok. You’ve turned a bad situation…into a potentially DISASTEROUS situation.
Why? Because your approach has done nothing to address the underlying problem. You’ve put duct tape over a festering and infected wound. And you think that just because it is not bleeding now… that you’ve done something right and that you’ve fixed the problem.
Instead, you are probably making the wound worse.
You might be contributing to this person spiralling even further downwards.
People get over it though right? We NEED to keep the British stiff upper lip or things are going to go wrong and descend into a society where NOTHING ever gets done because we are all worrying about how everyone ‘feels’.
Yes, I hear that a LOT, but here is where that idea all falls apart…
….Let’s take David in accounts. He was cheated on, his wife was sleeping with his best friend. He daren’t tell anyone at work that his anger and his hurt are eating away at him inside and that he is now feeling like a worthless human being and his low self-esteem is leading to him making costly mistakes at work…he’s kind of holding it together, but then Adam comes along, his Manager, and having noticed that David is showing up late, looking a little dishevelled and is short tempered with the others in the office, he starts to pour petrol on the fire by pointing out David’s shortcomings in front of all their work colleagues…Adam might be pushing David to a breaking point that ends very, very ugly.
In America… situations like this led to the term “going postal” being coined where depressed individuals were slighted at work… and came back to the job with fully automatic weapons and started shooting people.
The same thing has happened at schools in the US numerous times where kids who don’t know how to cope with stress and who don’t get the help they need… end up feeling like murdering people is the best solution.
If firearms were not prohibited here, I have zero doubts we would be experiencing the same situations. We’re not any better than the Americans when it comes to dealing with stress. It’s just that guns are easy to get there…
What’s crazy is the people who went on these shooting sprees in the States were all just ordinary people… who didn’t get help with simple-to-address stressors in life… and day after day of feeling rubbish about themselves and getting treated like rubbish by others led them to making a REALLY horrific decision.
You can provide the one shining light that helps your employees never ever reach the point of no return where they physically or emotionally hurt you, anyone you work with, any customers, or their friends, family, or themselves.
SILENTLY SUFFERING EMPLOYEES ARE COSTING YOUR BUSINESS £1000’s
- If your employee is going through a grieving period for a pet or a parent or some other significant individual you’re not going to get A+ effort out of them.
- If a staff member has just found out that their child is being bullied at school… you’re not going to get their best work…
- If a staff member has been teased about their weight by supervisors or employees… you’re going to get their best work…
- If an employee of yours is in debt because they’re trying to meet their psychological needs for escape from stress by gambling…they are not going to be working at peak performance.
This stuff matters…not just to them, but to YOU because it is having a very real effect on your business and the team that is running it.
RECENT RESEARCH FROM HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL SHOWS THAT EVEN IF AN EMPLOYEE DOES NOT TAKE SICK LEAVE, MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS CAN RESULT IN SUBSTANTIAL REDUCTIONS IN THE USUAL LEVEL OF ACTIVITY AND PERFORMANCE.
What would you do with the extra money that you had rightfully earned from increasing production and reduced sick leave if it was placed in your lap right now? Did you know that if you have only 10 employees that’s an extra £10,350 a year?!
- Would you put it all towards knocking out a big chunk of debt you have?
- Would you remodel a room in your home?
- Would you put it towards a new vehicle you’ve had your eyes on for some time now?
- Would you put into making a serious splash at an upcoming trade show where you wanted to make sure that EVERYONE there came and spent significant time at your booth?
Employees who are feeling stressed, depressed or anxious either because of events at home or at work are just NOT going to be as productive as they were. Their heart, their mind and their soul are not in the right place and it shows.
But now that you know this fact… what are you going do about this?
Are you going to be the person who tells them, “Your work is suffering ever since your wife got ill? If you want to keep your job you’re just going have to cope and bury your worries and fears before coming into the office. I don’t pay you to worry about your home life! I pay you to do your job! So get it together… or we’ll have to look at discussing your role here!”?
Or are you just going to sit back silently and watch them dying inside… knowing that you can’t do anything to help them process their problems… knowing that you are paying this person 100% of their salary… and you’re getting way less in effort that what you paid for in return.
If you don’t know how to professionally cope with another person’s stress… you are putting yourself in the way of physical, emotional AND financial harm. We get way more excited about putting a stop to someone STEALING money from us… than we do about gradually, slowly losing pennies per day to easily solvable predicaments like “workplace dissatisfaction”.
If that has raised your stress levels and left you wondering what on earth you are going to do to handle the real world stuff that happens to your employees and how to say the right thing, how to know when they are going through things at home that they won’t tell you about at work, how to stop the money from draining from your business when you see them not working at 100% but not feeling you can put any further pressure on them…
I have an answer for you.
INVEST in their emotional, mental and physical well being. Work with trained professionals who know exactly what to do and how to help.
A workplace study carried out by Birnbaum & al., 1999 found that the cost of treatment for depression is completely offset by a reduction in the number of days of absenteeism.
Prevention and promotion programmes have also been shown to result in considerable economic savings (Rutz et al., 1992).
You wouldn’t hire a florist to do your accounting, and if you didn’t know how to do your own accounting you wouldn’t just hope that all the maths would magically work itself out if you just shoved all the bills in a drawer and never looked at them.
You use an accountant because they are the best person for the task.
So if it makes sense to you to hire a trained professional to do your books so you don’t go out of business…why would it not make sense to hire a trained professional to make sure that your staff are in the right place emotionally and mentally to work at their full potential?
Some rare people in life can make the most of a difficult situation and continue to perform at a high level, most cannot….unless…they are shown how, by the right people, in the best way. Then, they can bring their best selves to your business and to your customer’s day after day.
If you would like to find out more about Positive Potential® the cost effective solution that makes you money without you having to work more or worry more…then have a look at what we offer.