We have been working with a local Company recently, one which to a degree had become a victim of its own person-centred philosophy and practice.
Don’t get me wrong the being person-centred isn’t a bad thing, its just when the barriers between the roles between Employer and Employee become blurred.
Employers have a duty of care towards their staff members, but where do those responsibilities end?
Working though the situation with them became clear that the focus had drifted into trying to deal with employee’s personal issues and problems, blurring the employer and employee relationship.
Whilst this may be commendable on one hand, on the other it compromises the effective running of the organisation.
So what are the responsibilities of the employer? [PLEASE argue with me over this]
Our duty of care is primarily towards the vulnerable clients within the services we run, secondly (by a whisker), towards our employees. Employers are responsible for the ensuring that the employee is capable to carry our their duties. This focuses on the need for organisations to build and enable work based resilience skills to be developed among its team.
For example, and employee has a mental health problem, your responsibility is to ensure they can carry out their job safely, this means concentrating on supporting them in role and not out of role. I don’t mean that it isn’t important to refer them to and / or support them in finding and accessing help, it is part of our role as an employer. I mean that the boundaries need to be clearly defined.
“Yes we will support you in being able to to carry our your role”.
“Yes we will support you in finding support externally to work”.
“But, should your situation begin to compromise the safety and integrity of the care and support we provide, then we may have to look at performance management”
Taking this approach needs discipline, it also needs a clear support strategy to be in place throughout the organisation.
We worked with the organisation and developed our accredited ‘Building Work-based Resilience’ programme.
The programme included looking at all their training, supervisory and appraisal policies and practices and harmonising the approach on resilience and supporting mental wellbeing
This enabled staff in leadership roles to be trained in mentorship and resilience skills building, so that everybody knew, not only about the organisational culture and approach, but in how to support individuals to be able to work effectively and safely.
If you want to find out anymore about the programme please get in touch.