Noticing the Signs

Are you aware of how your co-workers are actually doing?

The manager plays a key role when it comes to noticing signs that a co-worker isn’t doing so well. It’s important for the co-worker to have support early on, before problems get out of hand. This can reduce the time of absence significantly.

Check in with the co-worker

The number of people signed off due to stress is increasing, and as a manager, it can be difficult to manage a situation where you need to act. As a manager, you have a responsibility to be aware of risks that exist within the business, in terms of the physical and mental health of the employees. By knowing what early signs to look out for and how to act once you’ve noticed them, you can make sure you act accordingly.

As soon as a manager or colleague notices a stressed co-worker, check in with the co-worker. If your notion is confirmed by the co-worker, which it almost always is, you need to act.

Marie Fristedt, Product Manager Health

As a colleague or manager, having the initial chat may feel a little awkward, as you might feel like you are stepping on someone’s toes. If you suspect that the stress stems from a personal matter, you also don’t want your co-worker to feel offended or like you are invading their privacy. You should pay extra attention if you notice a change in a co-worker’s normal behaviour, such as poor performance, working more than usual, often turning up late, more absent from work, or constantly seems tired. These are common signals that something is wrong, and that’s when you need to trust your intuition and check in with the co-worker.

Make sure you ask open-ended questions during the chat, such as “How are you doing right now?” and “Is there something we can do to help you in your work?” By asking open-ended questions, there is a greater chance for the co-worker to feel valued, and less cornered. Make sure you take the time to listen and ask follow-up questions.

Managers need to be brave and have the chat early on, even if it’s just based on a hunch.

Marie Fristedt, Product Manager Health

Pay extra attention to

A co-worker may be exhibiting early signs of ill-health by:

  • being late
  • becoming more withdrawn, silent or introverted
  • poor performance
  • being irritable
  • being aggressive, worried or restless
  • working too much
  • a changed pattern in short-term absence, i.e. often absent Friday-Monday
  • a continuous short-term absence
  • a lack of concentration
  • forgetfulness
  • unusual signs of insecurity

Receive Support Through Your Insurance

If you are a manager and your Euro Accident plan covers rehabilitation, i.e. Long-Term Disability Insurance PlanSjuk, you need to submitt a claim as soon as you are aware of a co-worker being unwell. Once a claim is made, you will be contacted by one of our Health & Rehabilitation Process Leaders and an individualised action plan will be prepared. If the situation has been caught early enough, an appointment with a psychologist may be all that is needed. However, if this has been going on for a longer period, we can provide a longer treatment program with a psychologist or a health and lifestyle program covered by the plan.