Whether it’s stress from work or a personal issue, these issues can impact productivity and job performance. However, many are unsure about how they can provide support in the workplace. The following tips can help you create a supportive workplace environment.
Start a conversation
Often, the hardest part of supporting someone is talking to them. Most people worry about saying the wrong thing or offending their coworker, opting instead to stay silent. The following are positive ways you can support a colleague during a stressful time.
- Let them know you’ve noticed a change in their behavior or performance
- Suggest they see a doctor or other health care professional
- Offer to help find information or make an appointment
- Refer them to programs or resources provided by your company
- Follow up with them about their experience or progress
Dealing with a stressful experience often negatively impacts workplace performance. Because of this, it may be necessary to make temporary accommodations to help keep someone in the workplace. The following are ways to make accommodations in the workplace.
- Temporarily reassign projects or bring in another employee for help
- Reduce the number of obligations they have
- Extend deadlines or timelines for assignments
- If possible, grant additional leave for appointments or other obligations
Look after yourself
When helping an employee or coworker through a difficult time, it is natural to take on a portion of their stress. Because of this, it is important to make sure you are taking care of yourself.
- Find a way to de-stress or debrief after difficult or painful conversations
- Talk to a trusted friend or family member for support
- Communicate with the rest of your team about absences or accommodations
- Ask for help from managers, human resources, or other company leaders or departments
Providing support in the workplace can be as easy as asking someone “Are you okay?” By talking, making accommodations, and taking care of yourself you can help support employees or coworkers through difficult or stressful periods in their lives.