Your employees

Recognising potential problems

«Recently my employee has been behaving unusually. He seems distracted, his work performance leaves something to be desired, and sometimes he doesn't show up to his post all day. I'm wondering what's wrong with him. Something doesn't seem right.»


Does this sound familiar? Until recently, your employee was cheerful and fit as a fiddle. But suddenly his behaviour changed and his absences became more frequent. For a while now, he has lacked concentration and makes unusual errors. This is tiresome for you and the team, and it could also cost the company dearly. For instance, you might have to deal with the costs of continuing to pay his salary, loss of working time, or even compensation for quality defects.

Take warning signs seriously

When an employee behaves unusually, this could be a sign of chronic illness or even a potential disability. It is therefore important that you, as the employer, do not simply ignore this or turn a blind eye. Respond as soon as possible and discuss the issue with the employee concerned. The sooner a chronic illness or disability is recognised, the better the chances of improving the situation and successfully reintegrating the employee in the work process.

Constructive discussions

Try to make the atmosphere as open and relaxed as possible when discussing this topic with your employee. If possible, request the involvement of a specialist, such as a member of HR . During your discussion, don't just focus on misconduct or a decline in performance. You should also mention your employee's strengths and positive qualities. Make it clear to your employee that an improvement in the situation is in the best interests of all parties.


Work closely with your employee, the attending physician and any relevant disability authorities in order to find a solution together. The aim is for the person affected to feel better quickly and be reintegrated in daily working life in the best possible health.

Further information on early detection

You can find more information, guidelines and examples related to early detection and reintegration on the employer platform

12 employers explain their motivation and experiences regarding early detection, HR and reintegration: Best cases from industry partners (PDF, 6MB)

What can Helsana do for you?

Early intervention

Report frequent absences and other conspicuous changes in your employee's behaviour to your Helsana client advisor as soon as possible. You do not need to comply with your contractually agreed waiting period for this purpose. Our goal is to prevent worsening of the situation through early intervention.

Assistance from the StayWell early detection tool

The StayWell online tool developed jointly with external industry partners and researchers will help you to recognise conspicuous behavioural changes early on, conduct the necessary discussions and find possible solutions. Your employee will see the answers that you give to the online questions regarding the situation, but the employee's answers will remain anonymous. After the answers have been entered, you will receive an evaluation with individual tips and measures to improve your employee's situation. This report can be used as the basis for a discussion in which you jointly agree on further steps to be taken. StayWell is part of the service "Occupational health management – Helsana Business Health". Are you interested in StayWell? Just send an email to

Assistance from the LeadersCare online training tool

LeadersCare, the free online training tool for managers, helps familiarise you with mental behaviour disorders and assists you in dealing with mentally troubled employees. The tool presents typical problem situations involving mental illness in the workplace. You will learn which interventions are effective and how your actions affect team dynamics. Try out your skills and get started now at

Would you like advice on LeadersCare? Just send an email to

More information on LeadersCare

Employer training on the topic of "healthy management"

In our courses, you learn how to recognise stress and behavioural changes in your employees. You will gain confidence in conducting difficult discussions with employees and you will learn how to find the right words to address sensitive topics. With "healthy management", you can successfully prevent mental overload and illness among your employees.

Are you interested in our manager training programmes in the area of "Occupational health management – Helsana Business Health"? Just send an email to