When looking at what can cause a business to go sliding off the rails into dysfunctionality, you’ll start to see the terms miscommunication, stress overload, personal troubles and mental illness recurring over and over. Little did humanity know that as life got faster and faster in the business boom of the 80s, our personal lives were going to suffer. Everybody from junior staff, middle management to self-employed business owners all work harder and for longer. This is even more apparent when you’re a single mother and trying to keep your dream business above the water line. But what really is the lifeblood of any business? Apart from the unique vision you have the employees that you hire and trust to use their skills in driving closer to your goals are your lifeline. It’s crucial that you take into account the stresses and strains they also feel.
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Be the fair boss
All too often in life people experience a boss that is insensitive to the pressure they’re under. Most people can confide in each other when they’re on an equal footing, and there isn’t an invisible barrier or unwritten code between. Don’t allow the size of your business to dictate how you interact with your employees even if your business is working from home. Whenever you have an issue with a particular employee approach the situation like an investigation rather than the interrogation. Ask the employee why they haven’t done what you have asked of them, why they’re late, or why their standards have been slipping in a calm manner. Like a herd of deer, employees tend to notice the tone of their boss’ voice more than a colleague’s. Sensing anger the employee is more like to think of a lie or react defensively which leads to not knowing the truth. Suddenly you’ve backed yourself into a corner, and your options dwindle down to either firing someone or changing around roles and responsibilities.
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Mental illness and support
Nobody knows what someone is going through. Being a business owner shouldn’t and doesn’t give you special privileges to disregard another person’s feelings. You of all people know the juggling act of balancing personal matters and professionalism. However you’re not exactly someone’s therapist either, you do have a show to run. Although you may want to personally help your employees, its best to contact and bridge the assistance of a professional employee wellbeing service. Spotting the signs of a mental health issue creeping up on someone who works for you is incredibly difficult. Not only will the individual be wary that if they were to exhibit signs of being overloaded with stress and or behaving irrationally, they might be let go. On the other hand, because you’re running the business and cannot be there to oversee them continuously, that gives mental health problems a way to hide behind the corner. With a comprehensive Employee Assistance Program, i.e. (EAP) employees have access to online physical and mental assessment tools, an online health portal which can be used on the go as well as telephone, email and live chat counselling to name a few of the services.
Why bother in the first place
You may be thinking that this isn’t what you signed up for. Who knew you’d have to look after employees as well as making sure they’re fulfilling their daily tasks to the best of their ability? Well, experts around the world, from all industries agree that if you take care of them, they’ll take care of you. Employees that feel you are making provisions for them to have an emotionally sustainable work life will be more inclined to dig deep and give the best of themselves to your business. It makes perfect sense in the long run to create an environment where employees never feel like they have to hide their inner struggles. You and they know they have to turn up to work if they want to pay the bills and live a lifestyle of their choice, but it shouldn’t be out of pure necessity they turn up on time. Productivity is guaranteed to rise if employees agree to themselves that the business isn’t treating them like a use and abuse worker bee. Employee care connects them emotionally to your business and fosters feelings of loyalty and wanting to please.
Striving for goals in business is a concerted effort. No one person is going to achieve the end means no matter if they’re at entry level or the top of the tree. Unlocking the true potential of your employees can be done a number of ways systematically and methodically. But never overlook the hidden enemy of mental stress in your employees as everything begins in the mind.