Sometimes life sucks.
People who are normally focused, dynamic, highly competent and energetic individuals can lose their mojo, seem lost and can flounder due to things happening to them outside of work.
Relationship issues, family problems, ill health and depression can take on such growing proportions that it can make it hard to focus on the job at hand when you’re at the office. Over the course of a career these things will likely impact all of us at least once. On most occasions it’s just a blip and within a short period of time the situation resolves itself and the person is back to their normal productive self.
But what can you do to support the person, to help them, particularly when ‘it’ starts to negatively impact the person’s ability to do their job?
One of the decisions we made a while ago was that we did want to help, that we valued all of the team and their contribution, and that, within reason, we could provide some working flexibility and resources to help them through those tough periods.
Whilst I have a lot of confidence in our team leaders to provide basic ‘coaching’, sometimes the help required is of a more professional nature. This isn’t our area of expertise and in order to provide this support within a safe and professional environment we introduced a staff benefit of having up to 6 therapy/coaching sessions paid for by the business. We also decided to allow some flexibility at work so the person can attend the sessions at times that are convenient for them. They are of course completely confidential and other than paying for the first 6 sessions we aren’t privy to anything.
It may seem like a strange thing to do, odd, a waste of money, but we’d rather invest in supporting someone before things spiral out of control, rather than wait and be forced to pull the plug and lose them just because they are having a hard time. Recruiting and training a new person costs a lot more in time and money than the cost of six hours of a professional’s time.
It’s not help that everyone wants and it’s entirely up to the person whether it’s something they want to participate in. Some people have utilised the service, others have just been appreciative that it was an option available to them.
Don’t get me wrong, we are a business and have a responsibility to deliver a top class service to our clients, so whilst for a period of time we can cut people some slack, ultimately they need to perform and have their head in the game.
But even the best of us need to ask for help occasionally and at Equilibrium we are happy to lend a helping hand.