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Small Business Edge provides advice and insights to guide small business owners

Small Business Edge provides advice and insights to guide small business owners and startup businesses in uncertain times. Whether it is about cash flow, remote working, credit, bankruptcy, employees, getting a loan, or dealing with stress and time management issues, when entrepreneurs have questions, they get answers on

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Effective Strategies for Addressing Personal Problems and Stress in the Workplace

Once, I responded to a query on a small business community platform concerning an employee struggling with personal issues that were adversely impacting their job performance. The owner sought guidance on how to navigate this situation, as the once-valued employee was quickly falling behind in all aspects of their work. They were allowing their troubles at home to spill into their professional life, and suddenly, nothing seemed to be going right.

Here is my suggested approach: For most individuals, the greatest fear in life is the fear of uncertainty. When things take a turn for the worse, both at work and at home, a person’s mind can begin to drift. This leads to a loss of focus on priorities in both realms, and that’s when the real trouble sets in. What was once a minor issue can morph into a major obstacle. They might struggle to recall how their problems began, and finding a solution may seem like an insurmountable task.

As an employer, you must tread carefully when offering assistance. However, if the situation is impacting a crucial team member and affecting overall morale, it is imperative that you address the matter. The most valuable advice you can provide is to encourage them to devise a confidential three-step action plan.

Firstly, ask them to document ALL their problems along with their origins.

Secondly, have them outline the current status of these issues, arranging them in order of priority from most pressing to least.

Lastly, prompt them to brainstorm potential solutions for each problem. It’s essential to have more than one option, as we know that things don’t always go according to plan. Additionally, ensure that each solution comes with a specific deadline. Some of the more significant issues may take longer to resolve, so establish milestones to track progress.

Once the plan is in place, they’ll be prepared to face their challenges. Hopefully, some of the fear of the unknown will have dissipated. Transform the negative energy of stress, anxiety, and fear into a positive force that empowers them to address their problems. They may not be able to completely eliminate or alter all their issues, but at least they can take proactive steps towards resolution. Be willing to offer them time off if implementing solutions requires personal time.

This investment of time will cultivate their appreciation for you as a leader, and the company’s morale will see an uplift, as you’ve demonstrated your ability to handle an employee’s personal challenges in an impartial, equitable, and supportive manner.

Brian Moran

Brian Moran

Prior to rejoining the world of entrepreneurship, Brian was the Executive Director of Sales Development at the Wall Street Journal where he oversaw the sales development and marketing programs for the financial and small business categories among the many Journal brands. From 2002-2010, Brian was President of Veracle Media and Moran Media Group.

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