You know your people are overwhelmed by the work-life juggle (frankly, you are too).
“What can I do as a leader beyond showing empathy and encouraging them to take time-off?” a woman asked during a recent brainstorming conversation.
A quick note on why it’s important to support your employees, especially now (I am likely stating the obvious).
Your high-performers are highly responsible with a great work ethic while driving a large part of the workload. They’re also likely to tolerate and keep quiet until they reach the tipping point.
I know that as a conscious leader you care about the well-being of your team-members. But if your hi-po’s go into burnout, you will also risk the quality of client service and profitability.
Here are some simple steps that help (based on my research and conversations with real hi-po’s):
1) Ask right.
Avoid asking the “how are you?” question. It induces an automatic response without much substance. Instead, ask more open-ended questions.
Try “How are you coping?” or “What concerns do you have? They 1) give permission for things not to be “fine” and 2) give you a chance to connect and diagnose what’s really going on.
If it seems appropriate, you can bridge into a solution-oriented mindset by asking something like “What do you think would help you deal with it better?”
Note to self. Be okay not to have solutions right away. This may be awkward for you and your ho-po’s, but it’s totally justified the unusual situation we’re in. Not having ready answers is an indication that you and your employees are growing professionally and personally.
2) Keep your expectations in check.
There are two things about expectations that are a game-changer: clarity and reasonableness.
Everything is different now, and it’s warranted to reassess the expectations that you have for your people. Also, remember that you’re dealing with high-performers who expect to be able to do everything they’ve always done on top of the new challenges.
This may be good for the business in the short-term but based on the long-term goals (and your moral principles) some accommodations may be needed.
The best thing is to discuss the reasonable expectations collaboratively between the manager and the employee.
Organizations and leaders are being observed very closely now as well.
Managers who show compassion and care will build long-term relationships with their teams based on trust and ensure a long-term loyalty and engagement of high performers.
Keep showing up from your human side, that connected you when you saw each other in the (proverbial or real) hoodies back in March.
With love and support,
Sveta Parilova is a career and leadership coach who partners up with mid-career professionals to help them get rekindled and renewed about their work/career so that they feel less stressed and more joyful at work and at home. She is passionate about supporting people in their search for purpose and meaning in their work and life and is humbled and honored to be part of their journey to a more joyful self. Click here to schedule a Complimentary Discovery Session and learn more!