When a long-term employee suddenly starts acting strangely, the first thing you should do is try to find out what’s going on. Even if your employee’s performance is suffering, your first reaction shouldn’t be to immediately fire him or her. Instead, try to be supportive and understanding. Everyone goes through stressful situations at times in life, and if you value your employees, you can help them get through it.
Here are five warning signs to look for in an employee who may be struggling with a serious issue:
1. Financial Problems.
The first warning sign that hints that something is wrong relates to finances. Having financial trouble can cause serious emotional stress and worry. Employers may not realize that there is a problem unless you see some potential warning signs. Your staff member may suddenly ask for a raise if there is a financial issue. This would be at a time outside of an annual performance review. Additionally, there may be a financial problem if employees are regularly asking for advances to their paycheck. If you notice these signs, take some time to ask how you can help.
2. Performance Changes.
Stressful situations may also cause employees to perform their duties differently. When a stellar employee suddenly starts making uncharacteristic mistakes or is missing deadline, do some investigating. If this behavior is out of the ordinary, avoid penalizing the employee harshly; this could cause more harm. Instead, be understanding and ask questions. Address the performance issues in a positive and non-accusatory way to find a solution.
3. Attendance Issues.
A change in attendance is another big warning sign that there is a bigger issue at hand. When your team member starts to come to work late more often than not, there may be a problem at home or elsewhere. You may also notice problems when an employee seems to be taking more than their usual number of sick days. Sometimes, a pattern of absences may start to materialize. In that case, you should address the issue as soon as possible. Again, feel free to offer some help.
4. Clashes With Others.
Sometimes, you may get feedback from your team about one specific employee’s change in the ability to work well with others. If one staff member is suddenly acting hostile or inappropriately, you’ve got to act quickly for the sake of the rest of your team. A sudden change in personality may signal a greater issue, like substance abuse or mental illness. Look for other signs that an employee may be struggling with an addiction at recoveryranch.com.
5. Appearance Concerns.
Seeing your employee’s appearance decline each day may be another sign that something is seriously wrong. A normally fastidious employee may start to appear poorly groomed or disheveled. Another occurrence may have an employee start to drastically change the style of dress or clothing. Either one of these situations may require some action on your part.
A positive work environment also focuses on your employees’ general well-being. If it’s clear that something is seriously wrong in your employee’s life, be sure to stay on top of this potential issue. Be sympathetic to help you and your employee get through this tough time.