Think back to being at primary school, secondary school, or even at university. It may have been to do with you, or something happening to a friend, but someone would have been upset or grades would have been slipping. Maybe not straight away, but if it continued over a period of time, a certain question was always on its way, asked by the people in charge of your wellbeing for those few hours. The question, a logical, caring one, ‘Is everything okay at home?’
When it comes to corporate environments, there are a multitude of courses available. What the majority have in common is that their primary focus is career or team development. They encourage bonding, up-skilling, bettering oneself as the career ladder is ascended. It’s in the best interest of employees to become involved in these and it’s of huge value to the business to invest in willing employees. As adults however, our personal lives are very definitely off the agenda. They abruptly become appendages, not permitted to affect our performance outside the home. Unless in extreme cases, such as death or severe illness, the slack we’re cut is painfully tight.
Although understandable, the separation that businesses try to make between an employee’s professional and personal life is mostly misguided. There is in fact little separation. If your staff member argues nightly with their partner, has a screaming child needing attention all night or cannot pay their bills– it’s going to impact their work life. They are going to perform differently. It may not be immediately obvious; a shorter temper, a less positive outlook, but there is likely to be some manifestation. In circumstances like this, employees don’t need a workshop on becoming a better manager, they need practical skills on how to manage their life as a whole.
What more and more businesses are now realising, with the introduction of Reiki and mindfulness courses into the workplace, is that there is indeed room to help the whole individual, not just the part believed to make the business money. Whilst as adults we should all be proactive in enabling our own mental and emotional health, it’s not always that easy. Giving employees the option of coaching the personal to improve the professional cannot hurt. For those that need help, the offer must at least be made. Or else everyone suffers, eventually.