Now more than ever, leaders play a pivotal role in connecting, calming and inspiring their teams. Even as you and your organization are challenged during this time of uncertainty and change, employees also have a lot on their minds, and often a mix of emotions about themselves, their families and their work situation. A little empathy and thoughtful communication can go a long way to help employees know you care.
Here are some simple, yet powerful, steps you can take to show employees they are cared for:
- Be visible and communicate frequently: Personal touchpoints are important to show people you understand their need to stay connected and informed. Engage with each team member at least once a week, whether in a daily huddle, a regular team meeting, 1:1 meeting or team conversations.
- Check on how they are doing personally: Talk with employees about what’s happening in their daily lives outside of work, including personal interests, family news or how they are managing current circumstances. Especially if they are working remotely, employees have fewer opportunities to interact with each other casually, as they would at work, and this is a way to help them feel that personal connection.
- Demonstrate you care with listening and empathy: In times of uncertainty people need to feel heard and supported, and you can help by listening carefully to what employees have to say, imagining how they are feeling and expressing support. Reflect back what you hear and show sensitivity to their needs, offering help or guidance where you can.
- Talk about what matters to them, including the little things: Whether employees ask them or not, there are always questions on their minds about how they are doing, what’s expected of them, and what’s happening in the organization. Keeping these top of mind as you provide direction and input to their work lets them know you are considering their needs. But it doesn’t have to be all about work. Ask about plans or family events they’ve talked about or a TV show you both like. Showing you care includes talking about the fun stuff, too.
- Show appreciation for them and what they do: Be sure to say thank you when they’ve been responsive or helpful, and share specific appreciative feedback on their work. And remember their birthdays, work anniversaries and other important dates—consider putting these dates in your calendar as a reminder to help your team members feel cared about and appreciated.
When employees are engaged and inspired—they drive productivity, business growth and the success of your organization as a whole. And you can sleep a little better knowing you’re doing all you can to help employees weather the storm.
What additional steps can you take to show your employees that you care about them?
Get 8 key strategies to help you lead and communicate with heart to motivate and engage your employees, drive performance and get results. Download your free copy of the eBook—8 Ways to Lead with Heart in Times of Uncertainty and Change—today.