Should You Offer Therapy to Your Employees?
Often people facing depression, anxiety or other mental health related issues don’t want to seek out help or feel as though they can’t or don’t need to. They can make themselves believe that they are alright, or that they can make it through on their own when to others it is obvious that they need some assistance.
When you are a supervisor, a manager or a business owner, it can be hard to decide what to do when one of your team members starts to show the first signs of depression or anxiety. It can feel like you are powerless to help them, especially as you don’t want to risk upsetting or offending them. But if their behaviour is not only affecting their personal life but also their career and their ability to work and you don’t find a solution – you eventually may feel that you need to look at your options regarding dismissal, which is a painful and expensive experience for both you and your employee. If they reach the point where their productivity has dipped and they are calling in sick regularly, you may feel that there is nothing you can do. But there is…
Offering to organise some counselling sessions could make a huge difference to your employee. They may not have realised how much their attitude has changed, or how obvious it has been. Someone is throwing them a lifeline, and with the right motivation, they will take it. But when is the right time to offer this? Read on, to learn more about the signs of mental health issues you should be paying attention to in the workplace and what they could reveal about your employees’ mental health.
Their Mood has Changed at Work
If someone is in a job they enjoy, their mood should be relatively consistent whilst they are at work. Of course, it is normal for people to have ‘off days’, but if they start coming to work moodier, distant and less willing to work and this progressively becomes worse then it could be an indication something is wrong outside of work, or that they are facing mental health troubles.
When working with your employees, it shouldn’t take long to understand their different personalities and moods. This means when there is a shift in how they behave and speak you should find this easy to notice. If their mood remains low for a period and you grow concerned, offering your support and the chance to enter therapy can help give them to boost they need to find happiness and balance in their life again, and tackle any issues outside of work which are having a negative impact on their mood. Spotting the signs early and taking action will help you both – you get to keep a trusted, valued employee and they feel supported to make a positive change in their life rather than spiralling further into a bad situation.
Their Work Rate has Lowered
Maybe your employee’s mood hasn’t changed so considerably that you’ve noticed it as a sign. So, how else can you tell when someone is in need of help? As a supervisor or boss, you will often be looking over the work your employees complete. It is much easier for you to notice if there has been a dip in someone’s work rate or if the quality of the content they are producing has lowered.
This can be a sign that their mental health is suffering as they find it hard to focus at work. With other things on their mind such as the symptoms of depression or anxiety, work can often be the last thing they want to think about. Taking them aside and asking if anything is bothering them can be the push they need to seek therapy through work and accept your help. With consistent and effective sessions, they can have expert advice in facing their issues and tackling them head first so that their work life becomes unaffected.
They’re Coming in Late
A symptom of depression, especially Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), is feeling unwilling to get out of bed in the morning and face the day. With SAD, this is made worse with the darker mornings, as your body clock and mind can feel confused, and your body will want to remain in bed and get more sleep.
Employees facing depression may start to come in late to work most mornings, giving a hint to you at what they are facing. They might start by only being a few minutes late, but over time this could turn into ten minutes, twenty minutes or even thirty minutes. As they are facing depression alone, it can be much harder for them to find a way out of it, allowing the symptoms to suffocate them even more. If you suspect their lateness is due to depression, offering therapy can make a huge difference and give them the support they need. At therapy, they can understand why they have depression and learn how they can overcome and suppress the symptoms. Not only are you helping your employee get better, but you are helping everyone in the office as eventually with help their lateness will improve and their productivity will get back to normal.
They’re Taking More Days Off
Lateness isn’t the only sign that their depression is getting worse, as people with mental health issues might find it difficult to come to work at all. You might notice more frequent sick days and them using up all their holiday days rather than saving them up for times like Christmas or a summer holiday like you’d normally expect.
Their sick days and holiday days will soon run out, so next time they come into the office take them aside and ask them if there is anything concerning you need to know. They may be reluctant to talk to you about it, so showing them you care by offering a cup of tea and a safe environment to talk where you explain you can offer support through therapy may encourage them to tell you the truth and take you up on your offer. If they know you care about them and really value them at work, they will probably feel supported to make a positive change and it might be the exact words they need to hear to seek help.
Other Employees are Noticing a Change
Work friends are a vital aspect of many people’s lives as they allow them to interact with a different group of people outside of their normal friends and family. Having healthy work relationships also allow for better work and communication and effective cooperation between various departments. However, if someone is facing mental health issues, it can be tough for them to interact with people as they often feel like they want to push themselves away from everyone else and be alone.
If other employees are noticing this change in a person and coming to you as a concerned friend, you should take this as a serious indicator of their mental health. Monitor this employee to see if their behaviour was just a one-off or if you need to speak to them and make them aware of the therapy you can offer to help them understand and overcome their mental health problems.
Mental health must be taken care of if you want your employees to remain happy, healthy and working hard. By offering them therapy, you create a safe environment for them to share their thoughts and feelings and open up about what’s bothering them. If you want to learn more about how I can work with your business to offer employee therapy, then contact me today.