If you run a business or manage a small team, part of your job is engaging on a human level with your employees and colleagues. Although the office is a place of work, not socialization, the power of a deeper connection should never be underestimated. Your ability to tell whether something is wrong is vital to the smooth running of your workplace, as well as your teammates’ wellbeing. Many people swallow their personal issues at work because they feel it is inappropriate to air their problems in the office; while this is somewhat true, being someone they can be honest with is vital. Here is how to tell if something is wrong at work.
- Being approachable
All bosses want to be respected by their colleagues and employees, but pushing this hierarchy too far makes you an unapproachable boss. While your employees should know that they report to you, and that your leadership is something they should pay attention to, it is also essential that you are an approachable person. If a person on your team is having an issue, whether it is work-related or something personal which is affecting their work, they should feel safe to speak freely about it with you in private.
How can you be more approachable at work? Firstly, do not rule by fear. Being scared of your boss makes your future at that company a bleak one indeed, and would make anyone consider leaving their role. Plus, if claims of bullying or harassment arise, this can damage your personal career and the business’ reputation in general. Aside from this, approachability is about being a boss who includes everybody’s voices, ideas and personalities in the work. If someone feels valued at work, they are more likely to speak with you if they are experiencing problems.
- Regular check-ins
It is very useful to have regular one-on-one meetings with your team. Even outside of the employees’ wellbeing, these meetings can help get to the crux of their development within the company, and assure they excel at every turn. On a more personal level, these regular check-ins can help your team feel more comfortable speaking freely about any issues they may have. Of course, you cannot force anyone to admit or speak about something with which they are not comfortable, but hopefully, with a safe, private environment like a one-on-one session, someone who is experiencing a hard time for whatever reason can acknowledge it with you.
- Reasonable Suspicion Training
What is Reasonable Suspicion Training? Reasonable Suspicion Training is a form of training which is advisable to any team leaders and managers who wish to be better equipped to notice signs of misconduct or worrying signs in the workplace. These would include signs of drug or alcohol abuse, either in or outside of the workplace, that a colleague is displaying. This not only helps you see signs of illegal activity in your place of work, but also allows you to tap into a vulnerable person who might be going through an addiction and need help. This is essential training which will help you feel more confident in addressing these issues head-on, in a sensitive and proper way.
- Asking The Right Questions
Most people going through a hard time won’t just come right out and say it. Learning how to ask the right questions in a sensitive way is key to being an approachable employee who someone can speak to about vulnerable things like addiction, abuse, depression or bullying. Sensitivity training is a vital tool which can equip you with the tools you need to tackle such difficult subjects. The result? A better informed, more aware, more sensitive workforce who can understand each other’s needs and be kinder and more open with each other.
- Offering Therapy
If you are a business owner, your health plan should cover mental health treatments like talking therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy or counselling. This wouldn’t involve you being the person to ask the questions or deal with somebody’s issues, but might give your colleagues a lifeline to deal with their problems in a private, professional setting. Offering this care is vital for our current world, with mental health issues increasing worldwide each year.
Running a business is a big responsibility in more ways than one. Your ability to connect with your coworkers and understand when something is wrong is an important skill which will help create a more sensitive, understanding workplace.