asking for help - why it's hard for your employees

You’d agree that your employees should go to the doctor when they’re sick. By taking care of their physical health, employees are less likely to be absent and disengaged at work. Yet, it’s just as important for your employees’ well-being for them to ask for help when they can’t find reliable childcare, are unable to afford food, don’t have stable housing, or can’t get to and from work.

Letting issues like these go unaddressed can cause lasting stress. In the last six months, 60% of WorkLife clients said that stress affected their work and home lives. The indirect and direct costs of stress are expensive—costing businesses $300B a year.

It’s critical to your business that your workforce gets support when they encounter tough life challenges. But, it’s not always easy for your employees to ask for help:    

  1. Employees may feel ashamed. Unfortunately, there are stigmas attached to the very challenges your employees are facing. A divorce means failure. The inability to afford food for the family means bad parenting. Stress means weakness. Debt means bad money management. In asking for help, employees may feel judged for past choices or as if they’ve done something wrong.
  2. Your employees may feel like they have no one to ask. Problems compound when you don’t know where to turn. Employees with limited social supports or access to community resources may struggle to resolve problems quickly. And, most have been trained to check their personal issues at the office door.
  3. They are too overwhelmed. The thought of calling someone for help can cause more stress for someone in the middle of a crisis.  Yes, addressing their problems right away might mean less stress in the long run; but, it’s hard for employees to focus on the future when they’re dealing with so much in the present.

By partnering with WorkLife, you can make sure your employees feel comfortable and confident asking for help:

  1. WorkLife Navigators help remove the shame your employees feel.  Navigators normalize your employees’ challenges by letting them know that it’s okay to hit a rough patch. By approaching each situation with empathy, Navigators build trust with your employees. “My Navigator made me feel human again…like I mattered,” said one WorkLife client.
  2. WorkLife is a confidential resource for your employees. WorkLife Navigators work alongside your employees to ensure they are getting the support they need. Additionally, WorkLife teaches managers/supervisors to identify the warning signs of an employee in distress (showing up late, crying at work, taking personal calls). This helps a manager refer an employee to WorkLife, even if he/she hasn’t yet asked for help.
  3. Reaching out to WorkLife is easy. Employees can reach out to a WorkLife Navigator in a way that feels comfortable—via email, phone, text message, or WorkLife’s website. And, Navigators can meet with employees at a time and place that’s convenient for them. WorkLife is upfront about the process of working with a Navigator, so your employees know what to expect before reaching out.

Questions about how WorkLife can support your workforce? Please contact us.