Signs of Employee Distress

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Emotionally stable employees are those who can choose wisely from alternate kinds of behavior. Emotionally distressed employees exhibit rigid and limited behavioral postures. They are unable or unwilling to adapt to the demands of everyday situations, particularly those related to responsible work activities, and in their daily interactions with co-workers, supervisors, and managers. Although you should not attempt to tack any diagnostic label on your employees, it is important to recognize some possible signs of emotional distress.

The following is a basic guide for assessment of employee performance and functioning:

Emotionally distressed employees display an inability to perform in a fully functioning manner, and they have difficulty in adapting to changing circumstances as the need arises:

  They demonstrate an inability to meet performance standards that may be displayed through total work performance failure, or through difficulty in carrying out one or more work assignments.

Healthy employees, on the other hand, display the ability to function effectively in all realms of the work environment:

✔  They avoid depending on supervisors and co-workers to solve their problems.  They exhibit the ability to cope with challenges and handle difficulties as they arise.

  They are well-balanced and consistent, yet flexible. They are not dominated by the situation. They possess positive ideals and attitudes, but can modify them without violating cherished beliefs when circumstances warrant and when the change is believed to be in the interest of positive outcomes for the greater good.

The emotionally stable employee may not measure up totally on all workplace requirements all of the time. They may, at one time or another, be temporarily in a phase of less than optimal functioning. Much of the time though, emotionally stable employees display positive traits and are moving in a positive direction.

Whenever a team member's tone of voice, demeanor, or body language doesn't seem to match up with the words he or she is saying, explore the matter further for a more truthful response in a private setting. This may give the distressed employee the confidence to address matters of concern in a constructive way, and it may also provide options for choosing a positive and productive means of resolution.