The Werewolves we grew up knowing about were those individuals in the movies or books that were bitten by a wolf during a full moon and every full moon thereafter, they turn into a wolf and attack some unsuspecting individual. When not a werewolf, they are regular individuals – just like everyone else. Only a silver bullet can destroy a werewolf!
Wow, so who are the werewolves in your office? They are those individuals that normally work well, do a fair to good job, but change faces or emotions unexpectedly. They can be very difficult to see as a werewolf and can leave you wondering – what just happened?
Other employees and/or clients may observe this change before you, the owner sees it. Hopefully, an employee or client will let you know what is happening so you can address the issue before it escalates. It could be just a bad day or it could be more serious like being bipolar or depressed.
The bad day you can address very easily –
- Meet with the employee quietly and ask what is going on? Sometimes the employee just wants to talk – so let them talk to you – not other employees or clients.
- If it is something you as the employer can help fix, do so. For example, if a family member is going through cancer treatment, see if the employee needs time off to assist the family member. Work with them to let them know you care.
- Ask what you can do to help. Sometimes just asking will let the employee know their behavior is not appropriate and they can do something about it themselves.
If it is not one bad day but something more serious – tread carefully. You are not a counselor or therapist. If the employee is not willing to tell you or ask for accommodation, you cannot assume it is a disability such as being bipolar or depressed.
If you believe the mood change from employee to werewolf is more serious, look for symptoms and possible answers. First, understand what depression is.
- Each year, depression affects more than 19 million American adults, often during their most productive years–between the ages of 25 and 44.
- Untreated clinical depression may become a chronic condition that disrupts work, family, and personal life.
- Depression results in more days in bed than many other ailments according to a recent large-scale study published by the Rand Corporation.
In addition to personal suffering, depression takes its toll in the workplace:
- At any one time, 1 employee in 20 is experiencing depression.
- Estimates of the cost of depression to the nation in 1990 range from $30-$44 billion. Of the $44 billion, depression accounts for close to $12 billion in lost work days and an estimated $11 billion in other costs associated with decreased productivity.
Look for more about Werewolves in my new book – “Vampires, Werewolves, and Zombies in Your Workplace? How to Turn Problem Workers Into Engaged Employees” – coming soon!