Depression and Performance Review

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about depression:

My company has made me see a mental health counselor due to my depression. I saw the counselor under their terms, which was from the middle of August to the end of September. Whilst still seeing my counselor I was told that the amount of work I was producing was not enough. I asked to be given a chance to improve, since I was still seeing the counselor.

My line manager was not very understanding but said she would hold off for a month.When I had my monthly assessment today, which is obviously just 2 weeks after my counseling ended, I was told that even though I had several things that were really good, it wasn’t enough. She said “We can’t keep carrying you on a performance review plan for three months.” She said if there was no improvement I would basically be out of a job. Can she do this? This has made my depression worse and I don’t even want to go to work now, let alone work harder.

Signed, Pressured and Depressed

Dear Pressured and Depressed:

I’m very sorry about your situation and can certainly see how it could put tremendous pressure on you.I gather, from some references in your message, that you are not in the U.S. You should talk to people in the department of labor in your country to see what laws and regulations might apply. Your counselor may even have some ideas about how you could find out about your employment rights. Or, perhaps you have a friend or family member who could help you.Your manager probably hoped that while you were getting help with your emotional issues you would improve your work. She is probably very concerned about how long you will have reduced effectiveness, since you are still being paid for full work.

Other employees may be trying to make up for the work you would normally do, so they may not be happy either. All of those issue have an effect on the attitudes of your employer and manager.Talk to your counselor about this situation. Find out if he or she thinks you are making progress enough to push yourself a bit more to increase your work levels. Tell your counselor about these new pressures and ask for tips and techniques for dealing with them.Talk with HR in your company, if there is one, and find out if they have information about your options. Use every organizational, government and social services resource you or your family and friends can think of to help you find some solutions. Best wishes to you in this difficult and challenging time.I wish there was some magical way to improve this situation. I can see the viewpoint of your manager, when it comes to wanting to get work done. But, I can certainly also understand why you feel badly about feeling pressured at this point.

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina had a thirty-three year career in law enforcement, serving with the Denver Police Department from 1969-1994 and was the Presidential United States Marshal for Colorado from 1994-2002. She provides training to law enforcement organizations and private sector groups and does conference presentations related to leadership, workplace communications and customized topics. Her style is inspirational with humor.