How To Assist A Trusted Colleague Managing A Diagnosis

It’s never easy to see employees and trusted colleagues having trouble in their personal lives, but of course, the necessity to be a person is always going to override professional life, no matter what fortune we’re dealt. For this reason, it may be that one of your staff members becomes unable to work, or perhaps understandably affected by a diagnosis.


It can be difficult to know where to move forward from here, but luckily there’s a worthwhile process to follow that will help you grant them full autonomy, and make sure work in no way affects their condition, while also supporting them toward their next steps.

Of course, offering employees a robust health insurance package is always the first step, and making sure they know how to exercise it fully is key. But there’s more to this process than simply that. 

In this post, we’ll discuss how to manage an employee struggling with a diagnosis, and how to aid them fully where you can:

Understand The Exact Framework Of Employment Law

The natural impulse is to help anyone suffering a diagnosis as much as you can, but there may be very real parameters that come into play here. For example, if your employee doesn’t notify you of their condition but suffers many absent days because of it, it’s worth escalating the issues and finding appropriate common ground to work from. This way, you can help them manage them if they need to leave the company. It’s also important to make certain that you don’t fall afoul of employment law – for example, cancer diagnoses can define someone as legally disabled, and discriminating based on that is illegal. Understanding your legal obligations while also moving towards a connective middle ground is key.

Provide Practical Assistance

If you can offer certain provisions to help your employee better handle work, be that referrals to radiotherapy clinics where appropriate, occupational centers or even remote work depending on the job they perform – all of this can make a major and positive difference in the life of your employee.

It may also help you retain the skilled talent and capability of your employee while also helping them manage their daily life. Having fair, frank, and private meetings about this occupational capacity, and even reviewing that system each month, can make a massive difference for both parties involved.

See Your Employee As A Person With Their Own Needs

If faced with a diagnosis, how would you respond and what would you desire? Would you continue receiving your salary to provide for your family, while expecting your colleagues to step in? Many of us likely would. This employee desires and requires the same consideration. That doesn’t mean you have to provide for everyone, but it’s helpful to pay back a little consideration if your employee has been dutifully contributing to your enterprise for some time. It might even help them move through the recovery process, if there is one, with much more speed and consistency. Staff never forget something like that.

With this advice, you’re sure to assist a trusted colleague managing a diagnosis, providing the dignity they deserve and embodying the principles of your brand.