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Is your workplace an adult day care?

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HC Online | 19 Aug 2016, 10:00 AM Agree 0
Are your managers babysitting your staff? One leadership coach discusses how to bring more self-leadership skills into the workplace
  • Mary | 19 Aug 2016, 12:13 PM Agree 0
    Wouldn't life be less complicated if workers were robots! Unforeseen and unfavourable situations occur and that's a fact of life - no one wants to go through a relationship breakdowns, financial debt, family fights etc (I certainly wouldn't), but sometimes these things do happen and it can affect work life. The key thing here is to show support, empathy and compassion - invite the staff member to connect with you and to provide support/assistance if possible. The best of people can fall into hard times too and employers should not view their personal matter as a burden.
  • Leanne Faraday-Brash | 25 Aug 2016, 11:47 AM Agree 0
    I agree the reality of employing people means some of their foibles, struggles and mental health challenges come with them. The article pushes the recruitment process as the way to weed out potentially “high maintenance” employees with self-leadership deficiencies. And I agree that negativity, blame, lack of self-accountability aren't attractive attributes and might mean a poor fit for good culture and therefore a bad hire.
    But what about those loyal devoted employees who long since justified the recruitment decision and then fall on hard times or succumb to reactive depression through illness or relationship breakdown? Surely they deserve empathy, flexibility and attention without letting them languish indefinitely and put pressure on other members of the team unreasonably.
    As an organisational psychologist, I find the single biggest challenge for managers when confronted with such issues (apart from their lack of confidence in knowing how to approach such conversations) is that if they have allowed themselves to become friends and confidantes more than respected up line leaders who need to ensure staff are able to perform, it is harder for them to negotiate what's best for company and team member without being seen as uncaring or abandoning. If they model care for staff and foster an accountability culture, employees who struggle are more willing to see the manager’s concern for company and employee as reasonable, not as a betrayal.
    The article references pre-occupation with personal life and burdensome conversations with colleagues. Other staff can also be coached to say empathically to someone who wants to talk about their divorce settlement all day that they understand and accept their colleague is going through a hard time but that they are not professionally equipped to help, that they're not comfortable discussing such a deeply personal matter and need to ensure they are managing their time. I realise some will resist this because they will fear appearing uncaring yet others won’t admit they love the drama and intrigue yet will be very unlikely to actually make a positive difference.
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