As a manager, it is important to keep an eye on how your employees are doing. By knowing what to look out for, you can offer colleagues timely support or further help.
Characteristics of mental challenges at work
Research shows that 60-75 per cent of people face mental challenges at some point in their lives, including stress, negativity, or lack of self-confidence. Thus, it is not surprising that someone in your team finds themselves in such a situation.
But how do you recognise when someone is not feeling well? And when does that indicate mental challenges? Psychologist Kim Schlüter explains what to look out for and what you can do.
Your behaviour is determined by how you feel. If someone is not comfortable in their skin, you will notice it in the other person’s behaviour.
Kim explains: “It can be different for everyone. Some people become quieter and move a bit more into the background, while others might react irritably and quickly snap out of it or run away from the situation.”
Signals to watch out for are:
- Quickly distracted
- Restless behaviour
- Difficulty controlling emotions
- Reduced interest
- Low in energy
- Irritable or easily irritated
- Separate from the rest
- Nervous or tense behaviour
Be aware that you cannot always signal everything someone is experiencing. In a conversation, if necessary, you can ask about any other signs, such as tension, decreased appetite (or just eating more) or poor sleep.
“It is good to be aware that everyone has a down day or week from time to time,” Kim continues. “For example, it doesn’t necessarily follow that irritability or a lack of focus in someone immediately indicates a major problem.”
The general advice? “Proactively ask how things are going the moment you notice something, not just after a while. The main thing is to open the dialogue, show that you are there for someone and create a safe environment. You can also be extra alert to this after a major event in someone’s life.”
And make it clear that it is also okay to first talk to other people about it and only return to the manager when the employee is ready.