Mental Health Issues: Managing Staff and Determining Action

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Mental health is a crucial aspect of overall well being, yet it is often neglected in the workplace. As a manager, it's essential to recognize the impact mental health can have on your employees' performance and well-being.

Managers should care about their employees' mental health because it creates a more productive and positive work environment. It's not just a moral obligation, but also a legal one. Dealing with staff with mental health issues is essential to ensure their job performance isn't affected. Managing staff with mental health issues requires a combination of empathy, understanding, and practical support.

To support staff with mental health issues, managers must be willing to listen and provide support. Being flexible and accommodating to their needs can help create a more positive work environment. Regular check-ins can also help identify any issues and provide an opportunity to offer assistance.

In this episode, we'll explore the challenges of managing staff with mental health issues, and how you can provide the necessary support. We'll look at practical strategies for supporting employees, including communication, accommodations, and resources. Don't miss out on this opportunity to create a more productive and positive workplace for your team.

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Hey, so the pandemic has created a lot of situations where mental health issues are growing rampantly in the US, and really around the world. You know when life changes, people have a hard time sometimes with the stability of that. And that then starts to creep into our work lives, guys, and it starts to creep into us, as owners and or managers, who are managing teams of people who may now have some mental health issues. Well, guess what? We're going to be talking about that today, and how you manage that, today on the Build Your Team show. 

I am Atiba and welcome! First, before we go any further, do me a favor, hit the "subscribe" button and hit that bell icon so that you can get notifications of when I put out new videos. Because what we do here is create videos that I'm going to share with you from my experience of years of building high-performance teams. Some of the best practices of building teams for your business, so that your business can grow, and this is a big one. Today's topic is a big one and I'm not gonna lie, I can't cover all of it in one video.

I mean, we could, we could create an entire show on this topic and an entire channel on this topic by itself. And we just, yeah. So we're going to dive in and I'm going to give you 3 tips today, or 3 strategies, 3 things to keep in mind if you will, today, when it comes to managing staff with mental health issues, okay? 

Now the stigma of mental health issues has been going away in that, you know, 10, 15, 20 years ago, mental health issues look like something major. You know, people talked about schizophrenia or something-- big words and had all of these connotations with it. Today, however, especially in this almost, almost post-pandemic era, where we've been locked in our homes for so long, dealing with so many different things, people with job loss and so many issues that have come up, we're dealing with an entirely new crop of people in the world who are having mental challenges and challenges with coping, challenges with understanding reality, challenges with their own self-worth, and those people show up in your workplace. And so this is a really big question of how do we help manage these people. 

And so the first thing, and this is not one of my 3, but I think this is a common sense type of thing as we talk about building teams, right? You've gotta be great as a manager in terms of showing care and love and just compassion for the people that work for you, of actually caring about who they are and what they're going through, not just from the mental health state, but just in general, right? Because when you do that, it creates an environment where they're willing to even do more for you and do more work and be more productive for you. So it's super, super important. So that's number 1, just as a general common sense type of thing, okay? 

Now within that, I want you to understand. So my first tip here, or, it's hard to actually call these tips, but the first thing that you just got to kind of know here is, you do have a right to know. So if someone is working for you and they're having some sort of mental health issue that is affecting their job, and that's the key, you do have a right to know. Because you have a right to know if they're capable of doing their job. To the level that maybe they once did it before, or that's expected by you and the organization.

You've got a right to know that, okay? Now within that right to know that, again, going back to that first point of respecting your team and so on and so forth, it isn't the right to know that so that you can lord it over them, but it's a right to know that, so that you then can help them put things in place to help them be successful, okay? And that's really, really the key here of helping and managing someone who has a mental health issue, is understanding how does your mental health issue affect what it is that we're doing here and what your role here is at work? 

So my point number 2 to you is that you have to be flexible with them.

What that may mean is you may have a policy. Very simple, you may have a policy that if you want to do paid time off, that you can take paid time off. That's a part of the benefits that we offer here. But if you're going to take a day, you have to take a full day. Maybe they don't need a full day. Maybe they only even need a half a day.

And so you have to be somewhat flexible there. Likewise, you have to be flexible in the way they work. So maybe it is that they can give you-- yeah, I'm going to give you an example of this, okay? I'm going to make this really real, but take it outside of mental health for a moment. So I've coached football for a very long time and I had a player some years ago, and this was a kid that could give us 2 plays in a row that were stellar and then 4 plays in a row that were pretty poor. And then 2 plays in a row that were stellar and then 4 or 5 plays in a row that were pretty poor. And so we started experimenting and we started only putting him in for 2 plays at a time.

So we'll put him in for 2 plays and then we'll take him off the field for 5 or 6 plays. Then we'll put him in for 2 plays, and then we'll take him off and he did phenomenally! So we had to change the way he worked for us. And it's the same thing here, sometimes when dealing with someone who has a mental health issue. 

Maybe it isn't you need to change the way that they work. Now is that always possible? Maybe it isn't, maybe it is. And it really depends on the role and the position that they're in. And that gets back to, are you capable of doing your job? Right? Are you capable of doing your job? So maybe they need to work for 3 or 4 hours, and then take 2 hours off, and then work for another 4 hours to get their full day of work.

So instead of working, you know, an 8-hour timeframe, maybe they'll work a nine or a 10-hour timeframe, but as long as they're able to still get the job done. But honestly, it's usually going to be up to you and me as the business owners, and as their managers, to figure those things out for them. Because most times they're not able to see that that's what they need. They don't have any kind of understanding of that often. And so it's up to us sometimes to see the situation and try to figure out how we can help them be better in that situation. 

And then the 3rd piece that I-- and I'm going to leave you with this today is you gotta be honest with them. So if you've spent the time to talk with them, figure out where they are and come up with a plan to help them be productive and get their job done, and it's not working, you have to be honest, okay? And I know sometimes as humans, and I'm telling you this, not because you're weird, I'm telling you this because this is what I've done, okay? This is what we've done in our companies. 

There have been times when you know what someone's going through, and because you know what they're going through, you excuse things, or you overlook things, or you say it's okay, right? And you can't do that because you're not doing yourself, or them, any service. You're actually doing each of you a disservice by not being honest, not being honest.

Now, being honest doesn't mean that they're not capable of doing the job that you hired them to do. Being honest doesn't mean that you got to fire them. But being honest gives both of you an opportunity to come together and talk and see maybe there's something else that we can do. Maybe there's something else that we can change because the reality is they know that they're not living up to the expectation. 

And so if they're already dealing with some level of mental health issue, piling on the fact that they know that they're not meeting your expectations, and you're not dealing with it, actually makes it worse for them.

So, in a manner of loving and in a manner of respect, approach them. Have a conversation. Have a conversation and share. "This is what I'm seeing. This is what I'm experiencing. What are you seeing? What are you experiencing? Where are you on this"? And you'd be surprised how many times they will say "Yeah, I'm there too. How can we get better?". And through that, you may be able to create some new way or new opportunity for them to be able to do their job effectively. 

All right guys, I know this has been like 10 minutes on a topic that really we could talk about for probably a hundred hours, okay? But I wanted to kind of do this because I know a lot of people are dealing with this right now in their workplaces and you may not feel equipped. Heck, you may be dealing with some issues of your own and you're going to lead people who have issues and it's hard, and it's hard, and I get it. It's hard. 

So hopefully these 3 points will at least help you get in a better frame of mind and help you deal and manage a little bit better.

If you have any questions as you're going through this, as you're learning stuff, I want to hear from you. Drop me a comment down below. Let me know what you're doing, what's working, heck, where you're struggling, where we can all help and support you as well.

All right, everybody! I'll talk to you soon. Bye-bye!

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