If you have an employee who is struggling, it’s important to try to help them. By doing so, you’re not only helping the employee, but you’re also helping your business. After all, your employees are your greatest asset. So, how can you help a struggling employee?
Identify the Root Cause of the Problem
The first step in helping a struggling employee is to identify the root cause of the problem. Is the employee having difficulty with a specific task? Do they seem to be overwhelmed by their workload? Maybe they feel unsupported and could do with some constructive feedback, or maybe they’re having issues at home. Perhaps they are facing harassment in the workplace from some of their colleagues. It may be necessary to then do an employee education on harassment, to make sure everyone is respectful and kind. If the employee is struggling with a specific task, organizing some sort of training could help them become more motivated and productive. Sitting down with the employee and having a private conversation could give them the safe space they need to open up about what exactly is slowing them down. Whatever the issue is, it’s important to get your employee to open up about it so that you can find a solution.
Finding Solutions to Specific Problems
Once you’ve identified the root cause of the problem, you can begin to work on finding a solution. Perhaps you can provide additional training or help the employee to prioritize their tasks by utilising OKR software. If the problem is with a specific project, you can offer to help out or give them a break from the project. Whatever the solution, it’s important to be supportive and understanding. Here are some specific issues your employees may be experiencing:
Difficulty with a Task
Employees can often have difficulties with certain tasks. Some tasks are a challenge for everyone, no matter how good they are at their job. If your employee is new to the role, they may also be struggling with nerves or anxiety, which could be affecting their performance. Make sure your employee knows that it’s ok to ask for help if they’re not sure what to do, and make sure your training is up to scratch. If lots of people seem to struggle with the same task, consider holding a training session to boost everyone’s confidence.
Similarly, employees may be bowing under the pressure of a huge workload. Large amounts of work can be bewildering, especially if no help is available. An employee may feel frozen in terror at the thought of having to get through so much work by a certain time, which isn’t going to help them make their way through it any faster. Make sure to never give an employee more than can reasonably be done, and ask yourself if you’d realistically be able to do all of the work you’ve given them if you had to do it yourself. If the answer is no, or if lots of people seem to be overwhelmed all at once, you need to reconsider how you designate tasks.
Lack of support is another reason why an employee may be struggling. Some people work much better as part of a team and require lots of feedback to know where they stand. Lack of support may leave them feeling like they’re hanging in mid-air, which is going to cause them to flounder. Ensure you’re giving out plenty of feedback every day, but make sure that praise outweighs criticism. Try to stick to at least 60% praise when giving feedback to help boost confidence. As mentioned earlier, you can use OKR software to give feedback to everyone easily, or you could use the “two stars and a wish” method where you give your employees two things they did well and one thing they could improve on each day. This should help employees know their targets and what they need to focus on.
Problems at Home
Finally, issues at home are often the main cause of an employee struggling at work. Depression, bereavement, physical illness, financial worries, heartbreak and family drama can all contribute, preventing employees from being able to focus on their job. Even lack of sleep can have an impact, especially for students and new parents. Have a formal one-on-one meeting with your employees at least every fortnight so that you can discuss their worries and implement any changes that need to be made. For example, mental health issues could be addressed by organising therapy sessions, whilst financial worries could be addressed by discussing budgeting techniques or offering a small raise. Remember, every employee is human and we all have those days where everything seems to be going wrong. It’s good to let your employees know that work is a safe space, so even if they’re suffering as a result of morning sickness, or even divorce or domestic abuse, let them know that you’re happy to support them. You can help them attend an employee assistance program, or maybe connect with legal companies like Arizona Family Law firm for some valuable legal counsel to deal with such problems.
Fostering a culture of empathy and open communication within your organization is paramount. Encourage a safe environment where employees feel comfortable sharing their concerns and seeking assistance. Regular check-ins, whether formal or casual, can go a long way in showing that you genuinely care about their well-being. Remember, each individual’s struggles are unique, and taking the time to understand their perspectives can lead to tailored solutions. By actively listening and demonstrating empathy, you’ll not only address their immediate challenges but also build a foundation of trust that strengthens your team’s cohesion.
Furthermore, consider the long-term benefits of investing in employee development. Offer opportunities for skill enhancement, personal growth, and career advancement. When employees see that you’re invested in their professional journey, it can boost their motivation and engagement. Providing mentorship programs, workshops, or avenues for cross-training can empower them to overcome obstacles more effectively. As their skills flourish, they’ll contribute more effectively to the company’s goals, fostering a positive cycle of growth for both the employees and the business as a whole. Remember, the success of your business isn’t just measured by its financial outcomes but also by the growth and fulfillment of the individuals who contribute to its success.
Ultimately, your employees are the backbone of your company. Without them, your company wouldn’t even be able to operate, so you need to be flexible and accommodate them whenever they need help. By helping them to overcome their challenges, you’re helping to ensure the success of your business.