It is important to recognize that your employees are human beings and, as such, there will be times where they have to deal with a personal crisis. This could be the death of a loved one, a divorce, legal problems or any other kind of serious personal issue such as a long term illness. This can be a difficult time because these problems can easily interfere with their workplace performance, and it can take its toll on their mental health and also negatively affect the business. Therefore, it is important that you know how to manage these situations so that you can give them the support that they need while still keeping the business on track.
Listen & Show Support
The most important thing that you can do is listen to the staff member and show your support. You should not pry into their personal life but you should certainly listen to what they have to say and be compassionate.
For instance, if they are worried about having to take multiple leaves of absence, let the HR personnel know about this and see if they can grant them such request. Or if they have more technical questions about their issues such as "can I get sole custody" or "any recommended child care services for my kids" etc, feel free to guide them to your ability, otherwise do seek a professional or counselor for advice.
It is important to show your support and to be compassionate, but you must also keep in mind that you are their boss first so you need to retain a sense of professionalism and keep the business in mind at all times. You do not want to cross a boundary, show any kind of favoritism or have an employee take advantage of a situation, so you need to keep it professional and look for solutions.
Leading on from this, you should be able to find a way to offer assistance without becoming involved in the issue. This could be a simple case of giving the employee a few days off or it could involve helping them to find legal support, such as a lawyer from somewhere like charlestonlaw.net. These solutions allow you to help without overstepping the mark and becoming heavily involved in the personal problem.
Ease Their Workload
When a person is going through a personal crisis, it can be much harder for them to focus on their work and it is important to understand this. It is for this reason why you may need to find a way to lighten their workload while they manage their personal problems. You could ask other staff members to take on their workload (this is likely to require some kind of reward or incentive) or you can look to push back deadlines.
Check In On Them
It is a good idea and thoughtful to check in on the employee during and after the personal issue. This is so that they feel supported and so that you can make sure that there are no further adjustments that need to be made.
Crucially, you need to make sure that you are consistent in the way that you manage employees with personal issues. This will set the tone and also show employees that they can come to you with a problem and you will know how to manage this.
It is tough when an employee is going through a personal crisis as you will want to help but you must avoid overstepping a boundary and, ultimately, need to keep the business in mind. These tips should help you manage so that you can provide support while also retaining professionalism and keeping the business on track.