Fix it!
I saw an article yesterday that hit a nerve. It said you’ve got some depressed or stressed employees at your business. All businesses have them. It’s your responsibility to pay for therapy.
This kind of thinking makes me want to scream. First of all, some people with “depression” have reason to be. If you were going through a painful divorce or were grieving over the loss of someone close to you, wouldn’t it be natural to be a little blue? I get sick of the blather that says were supposed to be happy all the time. That’s nonsense. The same idiots that told us we need closure are now telling us employers are supposed to pay for the brain tinkerers to “fix” your employees. If you’ve lost a child do you need closure?
Other people are so self-focused they get depressed every time they don’t get their way. The men are usually complainers and the women cry a lot. Crying is a great weapon because it engenders sympathy. I’ve dealt with criers who were upset about not getting the cubicle they wanted. This group subverts every positive change you attempt.
Alright then! You’ve got some stressed and depressed people working for you. You might be depressed yourself. I get depressed when I fail to do as well as I know I could do. So what?! Dealing with it builds resilience. I’ve got a huge reservoir of internal resilience.
Here’s where I’m going. I disagree that employers should pay for therapy. If the employees have health insurance, let them take it up with your provider.
But you can do something. And you should.
The workplace can be a great source of satisfaction. Work can be a form of therapy if the environment is positive. Positive. I strongly disagree with holding gripe sessions or pitty parties. I have a rule at meetings: you can only criticize if you include a suggested correction with your criticism. No exceptions.
What else? If you (you are a manager, right?) create a FUN workplace, you’ll see these depression and anger issues fade. This doesn’t mean you need to have fun all day and forget about the goal of making money for the business. But a fun work environment will be far more productive. A fun work environment is an incubator of innovation. You may need to prune some negative people.
Bottom line? We need more fun at work. Managers groan. That doesn’t mean more expenses. It doesn’t mean chaos. It doesn’t mean skateboards in the warehouse. If you have skill as a manager you can create ways to make the work fun.
Need a jump start? Read FISH! by Lundin & Christensen  That’ll give you a place to start. Or, drop me a note. I can get things going at your business that you never considered possible.
Chris Reich, Author of TeachU’s Business Talk Blog