On any given normal workday, we see our employees come into the office and go about their work. Their mere presence at work tells us a lot more than we think.
If an employee shows up at work, then they are not too sick to get out of bed, at the hospital, taking care of their children, or caring for other loved ones. We can also assume that nothing overly drastic has happened in their life such that they would need to be somewhere else. We can further deduce from their appearance and behavior, compared to their normal, if they are stressed or agitated. (Thanks Watson)
That is a lot of assumptions that we typically have unlimited access to when working alongside coworkers.
Covid-19 has taken most of that away from us.
We have no idea what is going on with our employees. We know they are getting their work done because they respond to emails, take conference calls, and meet deadlines. But all of the external factors that affect their mental state are a complete mystery.
Are their family members healthy? Are their kids driving them crazy? Are they short on hard-to-find supplies (why is all the toilet paper gone?!)? Do they personally feel under the weather? Are they supported with the technology they need to do their job? Are they agitated at all the information they’re being bombarded with?
These are just some of the things that are definitely affecting the workforce of today. In a recent podcast with Ben Eubanks, HR Analyst, Author, and Podcaster, he describes the fundamental attributes that organizations must have as they work with their new logistic set up – grace. Ben describes the attitude of grace as one of compassion and understanding. While we don’t necessarily know all of the things that are going on in our employees’ lives, we do know that there are now a lot of unknowns. Being truly empathetic of that and treating our employees accordingly is the true meaning of grace. To hear the rest of the podcast go to Forging Employee Experience. To connect with Ben, go to his site: https://lhra.io/.
Employees and employers alike are having a tough time with so many things that have nothing to do with their day-to-day responsibilities. Now more than ever, employers need to listen and hear what is going on with their at-home workforce to better lead and assist them through the tough times ahead.