Guest Author - Dianne Walker
Depending on the situation, it can be hard to separate the personal life from the workplace. Sometimes people are just naturally emotional. What happens when this occurs? Usually the employee cannot figure out why they are having such a hard time getting along with their co-workers and supervisors. They may jump from job to job, never fully comprehending the problem. While we definitely don’t want a cold work environment, it’s important to remember that usually the company is there to serve customers, not to substitute or be a place of therapy for a needy employee.
What are the supervisor’s responsibilities?
Your supervisor is not there to take the place of your parent or therapist. They are not in place to build emotional ties with all of the employees. The manager is in place to make sure that the work gets done and the organization has a profitable (whether monetary or service) bottom line. Your supervisor’s responsibility is to make sure that you have the tools that you need in order to get the job done.
There are some actions your supervisor can and cannot, should and should not do for you. If your company offers benefits such as employee assistance programs, your supervisor can refer you – either voluntary or involuntary. They can also offer or insist that you take time off from work while you deal with emotional issues.
Supervisors are not counselors, they are not experts in the field of psychology – don’t expect them to be. Supervisors have a “business to run” they cannot solve personal issues. One reason they wouldn’t want to is because of being charged with any type of liability should something go wrong and they have been freely dispensing therapeutic advice.
What are your responsibilities as an employee?
Your one main responsibility is to seek help out of the workplace. If you have insurance, see if it covers some type of counseling. Supervisors have too much to do in downsized organizations then to act as a parent or counselor for an emotional employee. Try not to share your personal business with your co-workers. While most may sympathize with your predicament, after a while it gets tiring. You will become known as the “office whiner” and your colleagues will start to steer a wide berth around you. An overly emotional employee has a negative impact on morale.
Stop blaming others for your failure to get along in the workplace. If you have difficulty in one job, it may be the manager or the supervisor. If you find that you have difficulties in multiple jobs, you need to turn the search inward and seek help. If the answer is that you have too many emotional issues to perform effectively in the workplace, it may be time to explore other options such as finding a job that will let you work from home if resources allow. The bottom line is to seek help.
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