More Than Work: 4 Ways to Help Employees Through Hardships

More Than Work: 4 Ways to Help Employees Through Hardships

~by Brooke Chaplan~


Everyone experiences life hardships from time to time. These circumstances are just a natural part of life. Unfortunately, many employees feel they must choose between keeping their job and handling their business during times of hardship. As a business owner, it’s important that you show concern for the health and well-being of your employees, rather than contributing to their stress.

employee hardships

With employee hardships, there are a few ways you can show your support in a professional way:

1. Offer Counseling Services

One way to show your support is by offering an employee assistance program. These programs are designed to help employees through personal and emotional issues in a confidential and cost-effective way. Most programs offer a wealth of online resources as well as a call center for immediate and 24 hour support. Many programs will even offer a certain amount of counseling sessions at no cost to the employee. Consider incorporating this benefit into your overall benefits package and communicating this option to all of your employees. It’s a feature that can make all the difference to a struggling staff member.

2. Create Time-Off Policies

Another successful strategy is to create a policy permitting time off for mental rest, grief or other life trauma. This policy should outline a consistent, fair and manageable process for requesting time off for dealing with personal matters. Your policy should outline the amount of time off, the process for requesting it, and a clause about the employee’s job security during this time off. These parameters will help ensure the policy is not abused. Your staff will appreciate this considerate and understanding gesture.

3. Create a Culture of Confidentiality

employee hardshipsConfidentiality is crucial to an employee’s trust and relief. You’ll want to design an overall culture of confidentiality within your group. Provide training to your human resources staff and take measures to ensure this confidentiality is being honored. Your employees will feel much better about bringing pertinent issues to your attention if they know the information will be held in confidence.

4. Develop a Wellness Program

While you may not always be able to offer advice or time off, there are other ways you can help combat stressful life situations. Exercise has been proven to improve mood, reduce blood pressure and alleviate stress. Offering employee discounts at a local gym or encouraging healthy habits through a corporate wellness program may help your employees naturally manage some of these challenging circumstances.

These are just a few of the many ways you can help your employees through hardships without crossing any boundaries. Whether it’s the loss of a loved one, divorce matters or illness, your workers’ well-being in times of hardship is important to their success. Employ one of these strategies today, and your employees will be pleased with your consideration and care.

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Brooke ChaplanMeet the Author: Brooke Chaplan

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. Contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.


2 Responses

  1. Karen Pantello says:

    My husband died by suicide. My company handled his death exactly the way you outlined in your article. They said we send our deepest condolences, they sent me a link to get online counseling, they told me about my bereavement time off. Did that make me feel better? No. Did that make me feel like anyone in my company truly cared about me or my family? No. The approach was cold, impersonal and totally disconnected.
    Managers, call your employees or better yet, show up at their door. Do not just send an email. Tell them that you can not imagine what they are going through but you will be there to support them…and do it. Quit being so politically correct and be real, get personal and don’t just send a link to counseling and offer tme off…that is just horrible advice.

    • Haley Gray says:

      I’m so sorry to read of your loss. Unfortunately, all too often people are extremely uncomfortable in these situations so they fall back on what they are comfortable with, and it’s not always the right, and most compassionate way of handling the situation.

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