How can leaders help bring humanity back to work?
Leaders need to lead by example, we need to show that it’s ok to ask for help, that it’s ok to take time out of your workday to go to the dentist, take your dog to the vet or watch your child in a school play without feeling the pressure to make up time.
I’ve heard stories of parents taking early or late lunch breaks to attend appointments with their children so they don’t look as though they’re taking too much time out of their day, of people booking a half day holiday so they can go to a doctor’s appointment, of someone coming into the office for half an hour and then running off to an appointment because they didn’t want to look as though they were taking advantage. I’ve even heard of someone leaving work ten minutes early to attend a physio appointment and be made to feel so guilty that they went back to work afterwards to make up that time. When did we lose our ability to show some humanity?
As leaders we need to show that we’re available and present, that we have time to talk and listen to our colleagues and we need to do it now.
The concept of a work life balance has fallen away. Technology means that we’re switched on 24/7. We need to recreate that balance and not make people feel that life can’t encroach on work, because whether we like it or not, that’s our new normal. “How does our What connect with our Why?”
It is up to us as leaders to create the environment for a connected workforce. By doing this we increase employee loyalty and engagement. We create a united front, one that is full of support and growth. We need to embrace the fact that we are people who have vulnerabilities, we need to put down our masks and turn up as humans who are not afraid to ask for help when we need it or offer it when we see others struggling.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you’ve said.
People will forget what you did.
But people will never forget how you made them feel.Maya Angelou
We need to make our colleagues feel part of our journey, part of our community and we can only do that by bringing humanity back to work.