Many social service agencies are tending to very vulnerable people – especially in these difficult economic times. Being consumed with how to serve their customers and clients precludes their taking time to deal with their own situations. If a staff member has seen colleagues laid off, he/she hesitates to reveal what is really going on in his/her own life. It’s the sudden lack of confidence, paired with a fear of losing their own jobs.
Maybe it is time to devote some staff time to sharing personal difficulties, building a rapport of trust and support. Charity begins at home. There are ways to ease the concern and worry some may have.
1) Just listening and being attentive soothes a person.
2) Looking for flexible hours to afford some release at home.
3) Using the group’s problem solving skills to look for suggestions. After all, their work is helping others.
As another thought, since I have retired, I am aware of how many retirees there are who have talents and skills to offer. These people are vital, active and looking for ways to fill the hours they once worked. That is to say, explore with your Board of Directors anyone they may know who can volunteer for some hours in the agency. You might be surprised at who comes forth to help.