Everybody has good days and bad days. For some people, those bad days seem to stretch on for too long. Employees can have problems in their personal or work life that affect how they work and the productivity of your company. Here are some potential problems and how to deal with them: 


Harassment is a huge issue in the workplace. It can lead to turnover and legal issues. Yelling and bullying are signs that an employee might harass someone. Act quickly if this issue arises. Have a meeting with the employee(s). Tell them what behavior is expected and what needs to change. Have regular meetings with the employee(s) to make sure they’re getting back on track. Helpside offers Harassment and Discrimination training to clients. Reach out to us at humanresources@helpside.com for more information. 

Lack of Motivation

An unmotivated employee might take longer breaks and more sick days as well as coming in late and leaving early. If there’s only one employee with this problem, have a one-on-one interview with them to find the cause. If it’s a large group, consider conducting a survey. 

Substance Abuse

The common signs of substance abuse are erratic behavior, frequent disappearances, inconsistent attendance, and increased work injuries. If this is happening, you want to address the work problems with your employee. If you have an employee assistance program, offer that to them. If the behavior continues, take disciplinary action. Keep in mind that addiction may be covered by the Amerivans with Disabilities Act (ADA). CHeck with us if you have questions about how to handle this. 

Personal Issues

An employee might be having issues at home if they spend an excess of time at the office for no reason, sleep at the office, or take care of personal hygiene at the office. You should express concern for the employee and remind them that some of their behaviors are inappropriate at work. If severe, consider giving them time off to resolve whatever conflict they’re dealing with. 

Severe Depression/Suicidal Thoughts

The signs for this are not always obvious, but some ways you can tell an employee is experiencing this problem is isolation, talk of death or that life is meaningless, giving away belongings, not taking care of self, or “getting affairs in order”. If there is any concern that an employee is experiencing this, get them help immediately. Refer them to your employee assistance program (if you have one) or other professional help. 

There are many issues that can arise at work. Follow these tips to keep your work environment safe and productive, and your employees happy.