Even in positive working environments, employees may struggle with opening up to their managers when they’re feeling low. This can cause them to become increasingly insular and perceive that there will be a misunderstanding from the manager’s perspective.
Regularly asking your staff how they’re doing allows them to build their confidence, so they can approach you sooner rather than later. However, if you believe a member of your team might be experiencing a mental health problem, then you may have to take the lead and raise it with them.
Rather than escalating it to HR, it’s a good idea to talk with them yourself. They’re in a vulnerable position, so starting the conversation in a positive and supportive way will put them at ease. Tactful, genuine questions will be much appreciated; open communication, as with most things in the workplace, is important, especially if an employee takes time off for their illness.