Workplace distress can be limiting for employers as well as employees. Distress describes negative feelings and emotions which has an influence on our daily lives. In the workplace this can have a big impact on employee productivity and engagement. Employees may experience distress in the workplaces due to heavy workloads, negative relationships with colleagues, job security, as well as personal issues.
Employees experiencing distress may appear tired, anxious and also have difficulty completing tasks effectively and on time. Their ability to concentrate on their work is also impacted. If people are distracted their mind is not fully focused on what they are working on and it has a negative impact on productivity and engagement in the workplace. Managers must realise the importance of responding appropriately to employees/colleagues in these circumstances while maintaining sight of their own goals.
60% of employees surveyed say managers do not care, are not interested or do not understand when they are distressed.
As a manager you may not know what to say when employees are experiencing distress, or you may have so much work to do yourself that you may not notice or feel you don’t have the time to respond effectively. Though it may difficult, responding to employees during this time is key to easing distress for them and preventing it from escalating
40% of employees said that they did not feel supported when they are distressed.
Changing how we respond to employees when they are distressed and understanding that giving an employee five minutes to be listened to will help them feel supported and that you care about their well-being. Employees who do not feel supported by their employer may lose interest and motivation to do their best for the organisation they work in. Lack of motivation in this way means that employees can become further disengaged and unproductive. While, Employers become frustrated as they are unable to motivate employees to achieve target and may put further pressure on employees. This can increase distress and compound issues.
Eight out of ten employees who reported that they were supported at work said it was because they felt their managers listened to them.
Acknowledging and listening to employees who are experiencing distress will increase the productivity and engagement of other employees. You can do this by showing employees that you have heard and understood what they have said by using active listening techniques. Employees will feel increased moral as they realise that their well-being is cared about. Managers can learn the skills to respond to employees experiencing distress confidently in the work place in our Active Listening course. This course realises the importance of managing our time when we are responding to employees and colleagues without becoming overwhelmed.