If you’re a leader at your workplace, then you have the obligation to demonstrate compassion and make time for people when they need it. That’s especially the case today at this time of great uncertainty. To help you connect more meaningfully with team members, here are a few simple tips from Michele Parmelee, Chief people and purpose officer at Deloitte Global.
Keep in touch: Some colleagues may be feeling isolated and anxious during this period of social distancing, so make sure to check in and ensure they understand that help is available. A quick email or instant message—or better yet, an old-fashioned phone call—will help people feel connected.
Collaborate to find working arrangements that work: Stress and anxiety from the unknowns we are facing can be made worse by concerns overwork and deadlines. So, encourage team members to talk about the challenges they face when working from home and collaborate to find solutions. Learn what will work best for them when it comes to the ways and hours they work, and remember the importance of judging on output, not on being present or “online.”
Take a step back: Fear can narrow our field of vision, making it harder to see the bigger picture or available options, including the positive possibilities in front of us. Acknowledge the anxieties your colleagues may be feeling, reassure them their feelings are OK and take time to explore options and positive outcomes of the current situation—like having more family time or saving money on gas. Raise awareness of resources: Whether it is tips on remote working or information about an employee assistance program, make sure colleagues know how to find relevant resources should they need them.
Ask “Are you OK?”: These three words can make all the difference to someone who may be struggling.