As a business owner, it’s important to recognise that every employee is a cog in the machine that needs to be maintained. Employee issues such as divorce, workplace disputes and financial stress can all spell big problems for the productivity and efficiency of your company.
Although the digital age is evolving at an alarming rate — and robot employees may not be too far down the line — for now, humans are what we’re working with, which means there’s opportunity for human error and emotion. This is a massive factor for business owners who have employees suffering from any distress or distraction. It can directly impact the success and money-making ability of your company.
In this post, we’ll take a look at a few of the most common issues that affect employees, how it impacts their work and what you can do to help.
Every workplace will undoubtedly have a mixture of personalities, each with their own opinions. Whether these views are about things to do with work, politics, religion, or other highly-debating topics, it’s safe to say there’s always going to be disagreements and disputes between employees.
While everyone is entitled to their opinion, unless it’s a productive debate about something in the workplace, employees shouldn’t be distracting themselves from work for it. For your ship to sail smoothly, you need everyone at their best, which means workforce disputes need to be sorted quickly and efficiently to avoid further unrest. Arguments not only halt their current progress, but the aggravation involved can be seriously distracting and have a negative impact on their ability to work well together.
Although workplace stress can definitely be tied in with employee disagreements, it’s essential to mention aspects of the job that can cause problems, too. The likes of project deadlines and increased responsibility will always put a bit more pressure on an employee. While some people thrive on pressure and perform better, others find it to be extremely stressful, so ensure that each employee’s stress levels are controlled and healthy.
This doesn’t mean employees who are the latter shouldn’t be given the same workload as others. It’s just a case of preparing them correctly and providing support and reassurance every so often. Obviously, you don’t have the time to babysit their every move, but it’s vital to understand everyone is different, and therefore require alternative methods of leadership to excel.
Another aspect of workplace stress and a topic that’s often debated is competition. Some companies believe that fierce competition is the best way to get good results, others disagree entirely, and there also those that embrace ‘healthy’ competition as a way to improve productivity and employee relationships. Team-based activities like football, paintball, and even quizzes provide a sense of rivalry between workmates outside of the office, therefore avoiding additional stress caused by competitive behaviour.
Relationship problems and divorce
At some point in the past, we have all had relationship problems and are well aware of how distracting and stressful it can be. This is taken to another level if you have an employee going through a divorce, which many consider to be one of the most difficult times of their life. With so much to think about, such as your children, finding a good divorce solicitor and a change of living arrangement, there’s a good chance work will take a back seat for employees in the midst of a divorce.
As the boss, this puts you in a tricky situation, because every divorce is different and uniquely complicated. Some people might welcome the help and support of an HR department, while others need to be left alone to deal with their issues. Either way, it’s vital to make sure their problems don’t become a problem for your company.
If an employee is finding it difficult to juggle family lawyer meetings and other aspects of divorce with their job, then the best option is to give them the time off to get sorted and return with a clearer head. This will avoid any inefficiency or negligence due to the stress of divorce — which, in severe cases, can cost you money or customers.
Money is undoubtedly the number one reason for stress, both on a personal and professional level. As well as the abundance of personal lives and marriages ruined every year by financial problems, money is also the cause of massive amounts of stress at work and has a substantial impact on careers. If you have an employee who is currently having severe financial problems that are affecting their work, then it needs to be addressed.
If this person has been underperforming or distracted because of these issues, you need to intervene, because simply firing them means they’ll be in even more trouble and you’ll be down an employee. Instead, use this as an opportunity to provide them with the knowledge and assistance to get their financial situation back in order. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should pay their bills, but training them to be better financially will be worthwhile when their efficiency and good work is increasing sales.