Staff Member, Health
I joined here in order to get help with a sticky issue to which I am struggling to think of a solution, I wonder if you could help. Bear with me, I don't know if this sounds strange, but I am sincerely seeing help.
I run a business, primarily clothing alteration and mending, as well as some other tailoring and craft services. I initially started this on my own, but have expanded to take on 3 employees. The culture is very informal and friendly and we are all quite friendly outside of work now. In honesty, I am not sure I know much at all about managing people, but I have been lucky enough to have a team requiring where little is required.
My problem is, if you feel that an employee's performance is being comprised by their weight, how do you support them, and how do you even broach this sensitive issue?
One of the employees is a young man, and he is extremely large. I am not being judgmental, it is just that some months ago he told me that he is unable to kneel down without pain, and struggles to get up once he is in that position. He did not say/acknowledge that this could be a weight issue, though I feel it must be. As you can imagine, in our line of work, you tend to spend a lot of your time kneeling down! I suggested he used a chair, and provided this; using a chair is limiting for most people when doing this kind of work, but i couldn't see another alternative. This worked for a little while. Here is the part where it might all sound a little farcical; after a little time, the chair broke under him. Again, he did not acknowlege this could be a weight issue. Now he is just getting by how he can, either getting the client to stand near a box or something he can sit on, or trying to kneel, and struggling with this. His sickness is quite high too.
I want to help him; professionally, as he has a lot of skills which I'd hate to see go to waste, and personally as I am seriously worried about him. But I just don't even know where to start.
Please help... sorry!