The best test of an organization’s commitment to its employees’ wellbeing is in how it helps in addressing hardship through effective collaboration. Many organizations think of Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) as being related to important facilities like transport, education for kids, assistance during the birth of a child, etc. While these are no doubt physical components of an effective EAP; what most companies overlook is the emotional support an employee needs during a crisis.
The humane EAP
An EAP that aims at alleviating the emotional strain an employee is going through by addressing hardship through effective collaboration is perhaps the most effective program it can put in place. This means that the organization has understood what value the employee brings to the organization. It also means that it is a humane organization in which the management thinks of employees as humans with hearts and feelings rather than as money-earning machines.
Support when it is most needed
There is an old saying to the effect that the most important thing a drowning man needs is support, even if it were just a straw to clutch on to. This allegorical reference is perfectly relevant to what an organization can do to help an employee overcome emotional stress by addressing hardship through effective collaboration. It needs to get its employees, especially the immediate colleagues of the aggrieved employee, to console and support the employee who is going through a personal loss.
The loss can be of any nature or gravity. The depths of the loss depend to a large extent on the affected person’s outlook and perception of life. Yet, no matter what kind of loss it is that the employee is going through –the loss of a family member or sickness or anything else that makes the employee sad –the organization can look at addressing hardship through effective collaboration.
Galvanize the team into action
The team members can be allotted specific tasks to carry out during the crisis. For example, if there is a death in the family, some colleagues can be asked to be pallbearers. Others can make arrangements for the funeral, and yet others can take care of matters that the affected employee cannot give attention to during these times, such as insurance claims.
Addressing hardship through effective collaboration is the most effective means to helping employees sail through their most difficult times:
- It fosters a sense of teamwork and cooperation among colleagues. If the bonds are weak, addressing hardship through effective collaboration helps build these bonds. If they are already strong, this kind of collaboration will strengthen their relationship
- It will give the assurance to the affected employee that the organization cares, and cares when it matters the most
- It will engender a strong sense of team work. Addressing hardship through effective collaboration will help create a sense of empathy in employees about the suffering of others in the team. It will also assure them that when they too come across such events at some point of time in their lives, addressing hardship through effective collaboration is a solution the organization has for them.
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