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Let’s talk about emotional support in the workplace

Beyond the tangible deliverables and project milestones, the emotional well-being of employees plays a pivotal role in creating a thriving workplace. In this blog, we explore how to ask for emotional support at work; whether you’re going through a family crisis or dealing with a health scare. We also look at emotional support from a managerial point of view, and how best to provide support to team members. 


How to ask for support

  • Schedule a meeting with your manager: Booking some one-to-one time in with your manager or relevant member of staff (such as HR) is the best approach when it comes to asking for support in the workplace. This means you won’t be catching your boss off-guard when they’re in the middle of an important task.


  • Plan what you’re going to say: Depending on the situation you’re dealing with, you may wish to prepare what you’re going to say. There’s nothing worse than going into an important meeting, only to fumble your words and not quite get your point across. Think about what support you require to meet your needs and help you feel safe and supported. This might be something as small as temporarily reducing your workload or more significant changes like flexible working arrangements. 

  • Suggest a plan of action: It’s no good going to your manager with a problem without considering the solution yourself. Plus, you’ll be more likely to get the best outcome if you are clear about what you want from the get-go. However, if you are going through a traumatic time in your personal life it can be hard to think clearly – and in this situation it is of course fair enough to ask for a bit of guidance! 


Providing support as a manager


If you notice a member of your team is struggling, or they tell you directly that they need support, then it’s crucial you respond with tact and consideration. For example: 


  • Emotional support: Create an open and judgement-free environment where your team members feel comfortable sharing personal periods of difficulty if and when they arise. This might look like running a ‘door always open’ policy or having a designated space where employees can go when they need advice or emotional support. 

  • Practical support: During times of hardship every small gesture can feel like a weight being lifted. If one of your team is dealing with something such as a family illness, mental health struggles or even moving house, then make the effort to offer practical support such as redistributing some of their tasks to other employees and allowing for time off for appointments, hospital visits and removal vans! 

  • Check-in with your team: By hosting regular 1-2-1 meetings, you can prevent your employees from reaching the stage where they have to flag that something is wrong. Frequently check-in so you know where your team are at with their workload, mental health etc. It’s also a good idea to have resources (such as info on counselling options) ready to help support those who need it, as and when. 


We hope you found this blog helpful – if you’re looking for a new role as an interim manager, please get in touch on 0203 929 4000 today and we’ll get you started on your journey to success.

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