I can never forget my first boss, Joseph. When I had a personal crisis the first thing he told me was, “Why aren’t you out the door yet, I’ll cover for you.” He was concerned about my well-being. He genuinely cared about his employees. These are the bosses we remember.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to sweeping changes and disruptions in nearly every aspect of our daily life. More than ever managers need to be considering the well-being of their employees. Remember these are not normal circumstances.
Your employees are operating in a crisis. They are:
1. Fearful, anxious and worried.
2. Kids are at home.
3. Running to the store for essential supplies.
4. Under lockdown – Social isolation.
5. Trying to be safe and secure for themselves and vulnerable family members.
6. Grieving- People they know may be succumbing to this virus and they can’t say their final goodbyes.
Empathy is always important, but it is particularly vital during a crisis.
“To be kind is more important than to be right. Many times, what people need is not a brilliant mind that speaks but a special heart that listens.” ~F. Scott Fitzgerald
You can show empathy and kindness by:
- Frequently checking in with your employees. In this time of physical distancing people want to feel connected. Take the time to listen. Empathy and listening go hand in hand.
- Being understanding. Don’t be quick to criticize others without making the effort to understand how their situation is impacting their choices. Try to remember that everyone copes differently.
- Offering support. “What can I do to help?” Be genuine and follow through.
- Showing that you care. If someone has a sick family member, be empathetic.
- Being considerate. People still want to feel appreciated. If they mention they are out of something. Why not order it through online delivery and send it over?
You may be a manager but above all, you are a human being. It is important to remember that we are in this together—think of others, reach out however you can, and remember to offer help even to those who may seem to be coping well. Be flexible and compassionate. In this COVID-19 pandemic we don’t need numbers-driven but human-centred leadership. We need leaders with a heart for people.