April 06, 2022

Supporting direct reports through turbulent times

The stress from current events doesn’t respect work-life boundaries. It can seep into our professional lives, affecting our mood, productivity, relationships, and more. What’s more, this stress can lead to burnout and other health issues. It’s important to check in with direct reports to offer support for those who need it during these turbulent times.

Check in with yourself first

Before you reach out to your direct report, check in with yourself. How are you managing everything right now? What support do you need right now? What’s in your control or influence that could help you?

Be present and ready to listen

As you prepare for conversations with your direct report, put away distractions and be ready to focus. Give your full and undivided attention to them. Create space for them to share what’s on their mind without interruptions.

Make it a conversation

Throughout your conversation, it’s important to ask open-ended questions to give your direct report an opportunity to reflect on how they are doing right now. I wanted to check in. How are you doing right now with everything that is going on in the Ukraine? How are you coping right now? Instead of trying to “fix” the situation, reflect back what you heard including the emotions.

Explore support

Partner with your direct report to explore what would help them right now. What’s one thing that could help alleviate (burnout/stress/feeling helpless) right now? How can I best support you right now? Be prepared to offer flexibility, reduced workload, resources, etc. to meet their needs. Plan for another check-in to follow up on their progress.

Share resources

Be prepared to share resources with your direct reports, including:
EAP: Mental health support for stress, depression, substance abuse, financial concerns, family issues, and well-being.

Bravely: Confidential coaching sessions. Our Pros can help you to help prepare for these conversations, and also help your direct report find their own way forward.

“I thought talking to my Pro about a future conversation with my coworker was really helpful. She helped me feel less anxious because we went over many possible scenarios and responses from my coworker. This helped me plan for the unknown and feel less stressed. I now feel like I understand how to tackle this conversation.” 

Anonymous Bravely user

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