Updated: Apr 9, 2020
When life gets challenging, WHAT will you choose to do? HOW will you behave? WHO's back will you have? WHEN will you act? WHERE will you place your priorities? These are questions I have been asking myself, and the same command keeps coming into my mind; Above all, Love!
When I think about how this concept applies in the perspective for current events, hearing stories that are both uplifting and then those that are disheartening, I pause to consider how this simple message is meant for employers. Above all, LOVE!
Lead from the Heart.
Lead from the Heart. Leaders have been told not to act out of emotions. I don't disagree with that. I do think that emotions come from not just the heart but also the head, the gut, the knee jerk, etc. so the heart should not be confused with the emotion. If we take the time to listen to our pure hearts, have faith, practice patience, and remain focused on doing the right thing, roads will lead us in the right direction. There are no guarantees that decisions will be the absolutely perfect ones, but if you want to avoid regrets that can be long-term, choose to listen to your heart.
Offer assistance. Serving others is the best form of selfishness. Think about it, from helping others, we get a massive dose of dopamine, the feel good brain chemical. Who doesn't want that! Employers can help their employees in many ways during tough times like these. Some steps will cost money and some will take time, but all will be important efforts that will result in happier and healthier employees to readily return to work as normal when called to. Some ideas include supplying cleaning agents such as hand soap and sanitizers, disinfectant spray, and surface wipes, lotion after all of the hand washing, Kleenex and of course the ever in-demand toilet paper, work from home options, reassigned duties such as extra cleaning to keep them working, paid sick leave, unpaid extended leave, extended coverage of health insurance, time off stipends, gift cards for food or fuel, home fitness ideas and gear, books or e-books, puzzles, brain-teaser games, or supplies for their pets. If layoffs are inevitable, now is a great time to give your employees the extra incentive to pursue that continued education goal they have been putting off. Whether at work, working remotely, or laid-off, it is critical to keep employees engaged and feeling safe, needed and productive. Remembering Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, humans needs build upon the priorities of physiological, safety, love/belong, esteem, and finally self-actualization, reaching the next only after having realizing the preceding need. What can you, as an employer, do to assist your employers to meet these needs? Whatever businesses can do to keep their workforce physically, mentally, and financially healthy and well will benefit everyone, and every organization, in the long run.
Value others. Where would your organization be without each employee that you purposely chose to hire? We put a lot of thought into organizational charts and what jobs are required, what responsibilities the jobs will have, and who is the best fit for each position. We hired employees for reasons that are valuable to the organization and to you as their supervisor. Recognizing the value everyone adds to your business is the first step. Then the second step is to show respect to them by keeping them considered when decisions are being made, keeping everyone informed, and giving timely, tactful, and mindful communications. Consider the ramifications to you and to your business if your staff left and did not return to fulfill their valuable roles that you spent time, effort, and money recruiting, selecting, and training them.
Empathize. Everyone has their own story and situations. Decision-makers need to take a moment to get to know and understand their employees better, put themselves in their staff member's shoes, and consider the human that is involved before implementing any potentially devastating decision. Ask yourself if what you are about to do would feel right and fair if it were to happen to you, your family member, or your friend. After all, we all are employees, whether an entry-level new guy or a member of the C-Suite.
By putting people first, above profit, above ego, above perception, or above fear, reward will be returned ten-fold. Employers, when in the midst of having to make tough decisions, be responsible fiduciaries, practice showing people focused actions, and above all, LOVE!