It’s natural that as business owners you want the best from your staff. I’m sure that if you notice a member of staff slacking off at work you pull them into the back for a quick chat. However, there could be more to their nonchalant behaviour than expected.

As business owners you are faced with many challenges but one of the biggest challenges, and probably one that you don’t find in ‘How To Guides’ is spotting signs of depression in staff.

One in six British workers are affected by conditions like anxiety, depression and stress every year, which could potentially have an effect on your workplace and your employees.

To help prevent the unexpected in your workplace we’ve rounded up five signs that you should look out for to spot signs depression in your staff.

Increase of sick days

Are you noticing more sick days than usual?

If you notice a particular change in their pattern such as lateness and or an increase of sick days then perhaps only treat it as suspicious if you don’t see any changes even after their initial warning.

Most companies have those members of staff who religiously come in before 9am and watch other members of staff flutter in whilst they’ve already had their first cup of tea and checked the morning news. If you notice a change on those earlier risers then there could be a problem.

Loss of motivation

Have they been missing deadlines and not contributing?

Depression is usually accompanied by a loss of motivation. If you realise that a member of staff is missing deadlines, not contributing in staff meetings like they usually do then be sure to keep an eye on them. If it becomes a regular occurrence then don’t ignore it arrange to have a meeting with them to find out the cause of their sudden lack of motivation.

Changes of behaviour

Do they seem withdrawn?

People who suffer from depression tend to develop a change in social behaviour and that is usually the first sign. Perhaps colleagues who are usually sociable with other members of staff have now become withdrawn and perhaps those colleagues who are usually reserved could become aggressive and act out of character. Again don’t ignore the signs or just think they are having a bad day especially if they’ve been acting differently for some time.

Incomplete tasks and duties

Have you noticed a difference in the quality of their work?

If your colleague is suffering from mental health issues then as you can imagine they are probably away with their thoughts and not as engaged. If you feel like a member of staff has been lacking motivation and failing to complete tasks which is not like them again ask them privately if there is anything on their mind or anything you could help them with.

Fatigue and tiredness

Do they look fatigue and exhausted?

Excessive tiredness is one symptom of severe depression. If you notice that a particular member of staff is constantly coming into work tired with dark circles under their eyes and it’s not because crazy nights out then it could be that they are suffering from severe depression. Unfortunately people with severe depression are much more likely to attempt suicide than the general public according to studies.

There is strong stigma attached to depression, which is why some member of staff may struggle, or feel embarrassed to talk about their issues. Depression can lead to suicide so it is important as business owners and managers to do what you can to help those members of staff who might be struggling and going through their own private torture and it starts from spotting the signs.

Research shows that if you support those members’ staff that are going through depression they will become more loyal, engaged and motivated, which can only be good for business.

If you require further information on this topic then head to Time To Change they provide useful information on how employers can help staff who suffer from mental health.

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