Wondering what you as an employer can do to properly manage highly sensitive people? In this article, we share 4 practical tips.
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
Statistics indicate that about 25-30% of the world’s population are Highly Sensitive Persons (HSPs), which should be a significant revelation to employers.
That said, how have you helped manage your employees with this trait? Indeed, once you understand what HSP is all about, it will be easier to know how you can help get the best out of them and ease their anxiety. For some ideas on what these entail, see what you can learn from here.
#1 Ask and Address Their Sources of Stress
Without asking the highly sensitive employee about the situations that cause stress to them, it’s impossible to know. The remarkable thing here is to go beyond just asking. Instead, please take steps to address their concerns and the situations that cause them stress.
The worst thing you can do is to be dismissive of their opinions and sentiments. Remember that HSP’s are not your usual kind of people whose emotions do not transcend beyond their feelings.
Instead, these people sense everything others feel, making them vulnerable to the harsh realities faced by empaths. For the best outcome in the work setting, you are better off addressing their sources of stress than leaving it to chance. To make it easier, make their management a part of the organization’s culture.
#2 Provide a Calm Working Environment
HSPs do well in tranquil environments which do not trigger any empath episode. This can be a conference room (one not used frequently), detached office space, or a relaxation room.
If you cannot offer private office space, you can provide regular coffee or tea breaks for them throughout the day. A healthier option can be to supply ginger tea bags in the cafeteria or canteen. One ginger tea bag infused in hot water has calming effects on the body.
Furthermore, you should know that long meeting hours can get an HSP quickly overwhelmed and is one reason they need the break. It may sound like discriminating against your other employees but take cognizance that it is for a good cause. Moreover, unless the employee wants others to know about their empathetic nature, keep it confidential.
#3 Accept Them Just As They Are
For some people, it can be challenging to manage a highly sensitive person in the workplace. However, seeing it as a daunting task can make you trigger their sensitivity unconsciously.
Not all HSP’s are the same, and once you get that from the beginning, you can accept them all with their differences. For example, because one person’s trigger may differ from another’s, you must cater to the individual differences.
#4 Deliver Criticism Tactfully
This is particularly important when delivering feedback. Never assume that all your employees are the same in their ability to receive harsh feedback. Some are more sensitive than others.
Therefore, please avoid using the same generic language to address them in situations like that. To do this right, be open, respectful (in your actions and language), and try to understand the HSP’s interpretation of your feedback.
Additionally, while providing feedback, always remember to connect their performance to something meaningful to themselves and the company.
If you’d like to receive tips on how to provide constructive feedback, watch this video: