Supporting Employees Through Personal Crisis: What Role Should You Play?

Employee going through personal crisis and unable to concentrate on workDeath, illness, divorce: A personal crisis affects everyone at some time. This means that, eventually, every manager is likely to face a situation in which a team member’s personal life hits a rough patch.

When a personal crisis strikes an employee, what should you and your company do? And how to make sure the rest of your team has the support they need?

Here’s how managers can help employees through personal crisis:

Be the boss your team needs.

It can be difficult not to offer a shoulder to cry on when a team member needs help – but doing so may blur the line between “boss” and “friend,” which can make it tougher for you to lead in the future. Instead, trust that your employee will find the friends they need, and support your entire team by being their leader. Take on tasks like figuring out any emergency leave that is needed and how tasks will be handled while a team member is out of the office.

Create a structure that allows for space.

As a manager, one of the best things you can offer a team member in crisis is the space to regroup and to deal with one problem at a time. If you can provide some time off, even a day or two, do so – but also create a timeline and check in with the employee so everyone understands who will be out of the office, when they can be expected to return and who will cover essential tasks in the meantime.

Get the support you need, too.

Contact your staffing partner as soon as you realize you may need either a temporary staff member or a long-term replacement. While you don’t have to (and shouldn’t) provide personal details, letting your staffing firm know you need help ensures your recruiting partner can provide advice and leads when you need them.

At TERRA Staffing, our recruiters can help you respond proactively to sudden emergencies, whether that means finding a new direct hire staff member or accessing the temporary talent you need for a short-term issue. Contact us today to learn more about our recruiting services in Portland, Phoenix and Seattle.

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