As a team leader or line manager how do you notice when one of the team is beginning to show signs that they are struggling with managing pressure? Here are some signs to look out for:
- A drop in productivity
- A change in the quality of their work
- A change in their attitude
- A sense of withdrawal
- They become less communicative
Having a sense of your team’s wellbeing comes partly from knowing them and partly from knowing what to look out for. Even a quiet chat at the right moment can have a powerfully supportive effect if you approach it in a way that’s suitable for the team member and for you. How do you do this?
One way to think about this is like this: if it were you were struggling you how would you like your line manager to approach the situation? Here are some key pointers for handling these potentially difficult conversations:
- Try and arrange a face to face meeting
- Find somewhere informal but private and assure privacy
- Offer a platform for them to speak
- Ask open questions (avoid ‘why’ this can seem blaming if someone is sensitive)
- Use reflective listening – especially if they are upset
- Ask them what they need
Remember, even if they refuse help in the moment, the change in behaviour or mood has been acknowledged. Taking time out to do this can help them feel supported and may lead to a conversation down the road.
Managing Pressure Statistics
52% of the adult population (18-65) will seek help for anxiety or depression at some point in their life, that is 1 person in 4, every single year. Life changes including new roles, new responsibilities, and new organisational leadership alongside personal stresses to do with relationships, friends and family can all have an impact on wellbeing at work.
Here’s a link to the incidence of mental health problems in the general population from the leading Mental Health charity, Mind: