For the last two decades I have worked with Employee Assistance Programmes as a psychotherapist. An EAP offers support to employees of large companies in the form of legal helplines, financial advice, personal support and sometimes as face-to-face counselling. That’s where I come in.
My clients are from all levels of all kinds of business, and they are usually on sick leave with stress or a related illness. What has become clear to me over the years is that some of these stressful situations become far worse that they need to because of poor management performance. For example, taking many months to deal with simple grievance and disciplinary processes.
I appreciate that there are processes covered by employment law. (In another role I have been CEO of a local charity and have had to manage such processes with HR support.) However, in some cases there seems to be an unwillingness to actually deal with the situation, which is manifested as avoiding difficult conversations, putting off meetings and delaying decisions. The end result is anxious, stressed or depressed employees who are off sick in a kind of limbo for longer than necessary, and whose re-integration to the workplace is far more difficult and consumes more resources that it needs to.
Reading between the lines is a tricky business, but given enough material it can be done, so I am sticking my neck out now. I have got the impression that a significant proportion of managers impact negatively on their team, and need support to develop their skills with others.
Coaching can be a significant input to the development of people skills such as assertiveness, resilience and leadership. If someone in your organisation is not performing at his or her most effective then please get in touch. I’d be happy to chat about the situation and explore possibilities.