Difficult economic times present challenges for everyone but often these challenges are intensified for small business owners, managers and HR professionals. Many companies are trying to do more with less. They are experiencing downsizing, benefit decreases, salary freezes, furlough days and more. Managers and HR professionals are commonly given the task of delivering the bad news about lay-offs, salary cuts and benefit reductions. In addition, managers may be dealing with an unemployed spouse and worries that their own job may be cut.
HR professionals and managers are asked to relay sensitive company messages to employees and they are expected to deal with employee behavior, performance issues, positive drug tests and terminations. In addition, they face chronic work stressors which include a changing business environment, new technology, understaffing, stressed employees and an isolation from others because they are in management.
It may be difficult for managers to ask for help or admit they are overwhelmed. I often stress that Fully Effective Employees is an EMPLOYER assistance program as well as an EMPLOYEE assistance program. We help managers build personal resiliency during tough times. Learning to identify ones strengths and beliefs and what has worked in the past, can help individuals use these abilities during stressful times, both personally and professionally.
Sometimes, it can be very beneficial for the HR professional or manager to seek assistance from the EAP to obtain support, a new perspective, referral for resources and to assist them in reducing their stress. In order for employers to take care of their employees, they must also take care of themselves.