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Dealing With Employee Problems: Your Business’s New Playbook

Athletic coaches will call a team huddle the minute they realize that they need to make a change in either the players on the field or the play being used. They make changes on the fly to produce the results they want—to win the game—and don’t think twice about doing so, even if it means pulling the star player. Right now, more businesses are experiencing employee costly issues like staffing shortages, employee call-offs, etc. How are you dealing with these costly problems? It may be time to take a page from the sports coaches’ handbook and find a new strategy to deal with your employees’ problems.
Getting To The Root Of The Problem
Let’s start by looking at the players you have on the field—your employees—and what is going on in their lives. It may be that a number of your employees are struggling financially, even if they are above the poverty level in the U.S. Some of your employees may have grown up in a dysfunctional family and as a result have low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, anger, resentment, poor coping mechanisms, the inability to deal with life challenges or be highly functional in life, addictions and low emotional intelligence to name a few issues. Or, they have found themselves in abusive relationships. There are so many good reasons why your employees are having a hard time showing up and performing at work.
As an emotional intelligence expert, I can say with clarity that most people don’t have the skills and abilities to deal with what I call “difficult emotions”—sadness, depression, anxiety, anger, resentment, fears, loneliness, grief and loss, etc. These are the emotions that have skyrocketed as an impact of the pandemic and can be one of the root causes of your employee problems.
Time To Regroup
Your employees’ personal issues become your problems when they spill over into work. When a coach sees that his or her team is struggling on the field, they interrupt the game, call a huddle and make the necessary changes.
My suggestion to you is to put together and implement a company-wide personal growth and development program. This can be done easily and at a relatively low cost. Helping your employees grow to become happier and more functional in life can not only lead to helping your employees in their personal lives, it can also breed loyalty. People rarely forget those who helped them change their lives for the better. I believe this to be one of the richest and most rewarding things you could do in your career.
Planning Your Growth and Development Playbook
I recommend focusing your assistance on self-care, self-compassion (taming your employees’ inner critic), growing their emotional abilities, assertiveness and self-awareness.
When developing your program, I recommend using existing company portals or team communication modes to announce, engage, monitor and track employee participation and successes. Because I am a diehard fan of having fun and happiness, I advocate for creating a powerful and fun name for your new playbook. You can even create a contest to name your new playbook, thus engaging employees from the outset. This is a quest, an adventure, a journey or odyssey into a better life for your team and less problems and expenses for your business. Make it fun and enjoyable.
Just like great coaches, you want to be that coach who rallies the players to victory, helping them find what they need and may not know that they need—learning new skills and abilities that make them happier and more functional in life. There is a plethora of free content on the internet that contains rich, therapy-approved and research-based techniques for growth and development, so you can use what is already available as content for your new playbook. Have weekly team “Celebrate Yourself” updates, which can be done very quickly with coffee and donuts, providing the opportunity to share personal victories and successes as well as to ask for suggestions, tips or help.
Not Your Mom’s Company Wellness Program
Most company wellness programs do not provide for the type of deep and meaningful personal growth I am suggesting because they are simply not designed for that. One of the reasons why more of your employees may not be participating in your current wellness program is because they don’t trust you with that kind of personal information and because it doesn’t address the real issues they are grappling with. You can address this in your new playbook by explaining that you are not trying to dig into their personal issues but are trying to provide meaningful tools for personal growth. And what about those who have participated in your current wellness program? You don’t need to ditch it—think of this as a separate new playbook.
When your employees see that what you’re interested in is not simply getting up in their personal business but a commitment to helping them grow, they may be much more likely to participate. Especially if you are providing incentives and having the weekly “Celebrate Yourself” updates. What would your work environment look like if you helped your employees learn how to boost their mood or if they had personal reward systems to help them be motivated in life? I believe your workplace could be very different if those things were in play because you would be helping your employees be more functional and happy in life.
When you make your company culture one where employee personal growth and development is acknowledged, celebrated, and rewarded, you may receive the financial benefits that accompany solving employee issues at the source—reducing employee turnover, improving morale, improving productivity and efficiencies and creating an environment that fosters happiness and success. I believe this innovative approach can be a game-changer for your business and a life-changing possibility for your employees. It’s time to call a time-out, huddle up and add a new playbook because the return on investment is too high to wait.



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