Janine*, Occupational Physician

"The most important thing is to try and have really clear and honest conversations. When people are anxious or depressed they often have a low tolerance for uncertainty or they interpret things in a very negative way. Their stress responses get activated. Some managers, when they see this, they take a softer or more uncertain approach because they don't want to do or say the wrong thing. But this can actually make things worse. It is really important to give the person certainty - to be really clear about their role, how their performance will be assessed, the support the organisation can provide. Sometimes this might involved telling them things that aren't necessarily positive but it is still better to be clear - to give the person certainty as much as possible. This can save a great deal of difficulty in the long run."

*not her real name