First of all, congratulations if this issue applies to you, as it means that you are a manager on the right track of leadership and achievement for your company, and you are more likely to achieve your goals with this mindset, as nothing is achieved in your company without your workers, so you are aware of the importance of shoring up your and their wellbeing--which has long been proven to improve profitability and production. If you're not, hopefully, the knowledge you gain from this article can help you support a manager, and confidently propel you into management positions in your near future.
Also, given that we are in Covid-19 times, the more support workers receive is crucial, as morale and workforce retention are of utmost importance at this time, given the level of stressors workers and companies are facing on a daily basis. For many workers, their tasks have increased with the mandated safety protocols that have been required, and not only that, schools have closed, overall movements have been restricted, costs of goods have risen, debt is on the horizon for some, and so on. We haven't even talked about America's ongoing housing crisis in its big cities, which is a major source of stress for people who have been striving to maintain a good work ethic even during the height of the pandemic.
As a result, it would be wise leadership to consider the topic of this article, as to how one can support their employees' wellbeing from here on forward--as maintaining your workforce should be your top priority, as worker attrition only slows down profit and progress.
It is important to note what well-being is, as I would define it as a sense of past, present, and future that is pleasant to the mind. It is a sense of everything is okay and everything is going to be okay. It is a sustained sensation, therefore, it cannot occur in an environment where there are frequent changes in management, tasks, or directions.
Thus, I would note this as the first step of leadership, which is to hire staff and finalize roles to your charges for a sense of consistency and expected outcomes. There is nothing like a workplace where there's no clear system and where things function haphazardly. This can drive up people's stress, and reduce their concentration at work, which only worsens prospects for productivity.
Companies should also focus on actual leadership, which is a heavy role; leadership requires knowledge and skill, even in the most difficult situations, and this is the kind of alpha behavior that solves problems and achieves goals when crises arise.
It is as simple as that; in order to keep employees healthy and therefore happy, management has to lead them with someone who knows what they are doing and who is able to get the job done. It sounds cliched but many times I've seen managers perform their roles with partial skills and fail to get adequate leadership themselves, so they end up being unable to fulfill the duties of the position, and the whole ship sets sail askew.
Next, staff should know what they should be doing; again, this seemingly obvious point is often bungled when managers communicate ineffectively and staff is impatient and partially attentive (which happens a lot, considering the pace at which life moves and how many things people tend to be juggling); also, when contingency plans are not met, i.e., managers do not prepare staffers for things that may happen awry, staffers frequently panic and act confused or lost when they are unable to think for themselves.
This happens more often than you realize and from my point of view, it is a combination of brain freeze and willful reluctance to work "harder," as when workers are dissatisfied at work, any sense of frustration can bring out behaviors from staff that make getting the work done harder.
Other things staff may do is abandon the issue altogether and not seek assistance from their supervisors, dillydally, lie, blame others, steal and even feign injuries.
All of these behaviors are not cost-effective and they really are unhealthy for any sort of team functioning. The only way to protect against them is to have effective leadership, which is to receive regular (NOT constant), supervision and to supervise regularly.
The thing about leadership, it is always about learning how, whether it is learning how to achieve your task faster, under better conditions, with fewer obstacles, etc., and after learning, there is teaching.
The thing about leadership, it is always about learning how, whether it is learning how to achieve your task faster, under better conditions, with fewer obstacles, etc., and after learning, comes teaching.
Under the right conditions, this is a constant melody that is rhythmic and timely and evident in growth, team morale, and worker retention. Supervision is a tricky deal, as it is a combination of supporting your staffers while at the same time pushing them and some of them can view this negatively, no matter how you try to deliver your messages palatably; there are others who will receive instruction and criticism when it is given kindly, and this subset of individuals are dependent on their managers' skill, as they expect them to lead them the right way. However, these are the individuals who are likely to reject instructions that do not meet their standards and they will tend to blame others for any shortcomings seen.
Thus, the need for support and learning is on both ends, as the manager will benefit from supervision that teaches him or her to deal with blame, training on how to deal with resistance, training on delivering instructions, and more. This person has to become good at monitoring the behaviors of their staffers as this will be their chief mode of understanding employee communications, as employees most often show how they feel, rather than say it.
Similarly, the employee has to learn effective strategies for communicating his or her ideas; for these employees who have a standard that their managers are not fulfilling, upper management will have to be the resting source for their complaints, as no other behavior will move the company's issues forward. These are the contingency plan issues that I talked about earlier, where when staffers know what to do, they will do it accordingly.
When company policies are aligned with staffers' behavior, no one suffers and the ideal is to have staffers behaving that way all the time. This can only happen through the regular supervision of every staff member. This is where the metaphor, "hand wash hand, makes hand come clean" applies, as it invokes an attitude where everyone becomes responsible for each other as they are assigned.
Add to this environment fair chances for promotions and upward mobility, then you've got an environment that is lively, healthy, and well taken care of. It is my belief that companies that present as stable, predictable, and calm, tend to have workers who are more able to focus and therefore, more productive. When employees feel like their hard work takes them somewhere, it excites and invigorates them, as it would, anyone, as it gives a sense of control of the outcomes that humans thrive on.
It is for this reason that some of the biggest companies are so successful, as they either handle these issues so well or their large capital margins allow them to buffer internal and external stress to a sufficient level. However, if such conditions consistently remain, even the most successful companies will tank, as it will happen over years and time.
As you consider improving your task force at managing and leading humans, I recommend revolving around the combination of topics presented in this article, as this is a full chalet of steps to accomplish, depending on the staff size. Implementing this strategy is complicated as it requires excellent time management, perfect attention to detail, and a depth of knowledge regarding company policies and resources. These recommendations should be implemented as needed so as to shore up staff's potential and its customary ways.
From my own experience, employees prefer managers who are personable, tactful, and someone who saves them time with straightforward instructions and discrete tasks--so choosing the right leader is to first consider the work that is required to be done in its full scope.
For a company that practices the right inclusivity here, any qualified individual should fit in, as it really is about fitting shoes into a box and plugging holes with pegs.
To choose the right leader is to first consider the work that is required to be done in its full scope.
This is how a pyramid system functions, and probably is supposed to function, where problems are easily solved and holes easily filled. If you find yourself looking for help and resources to assist you in these travails, I recommend readings on Sanctuary Model therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT, the chief proponent of mindfulness), and the Missouri Model.
I learned and worked with each of these models in juvenile justice and I found them engagingly intertwining when considering repairing systems as a whole. The Sanctuary Model is well known for bringing the concept of emotional intelligence to our forefronts, and it stresses healing from trauma through self-awareness and connecting to others. The Missouri model focuses on harnessing group dynamics to create rights and responsibility amongst invested parties and DBT focus on balancing acceptance and change through validation, resources, and therapy.
Together, all three pack a punch and they are able to support companies as they work to solve their many issues. Little did anyone think that juvenile justice treatment applies to everyday systems but I say why not? Go for it as you work to stand tall in these difficult times.