I like to think most companies care about their employees. And that most of the horror stories we read on social are either:
(1) Awful orgs that can’t be fixed.
The people at the top don’t give a crap. No amount of encouragement, or in my case, ranting will make any difference.
But in all honesty: I think (hope?) they’re outliers. Or at least the minority.
(2) Good orgs where everyone is too busy to realize they messed up.
Those are the ones I like speaking to. Places where the intention is there, but the domain knowledge or execution isn’t.
Burn out. Inadvertent double work. The general feeling of a lack of appreciation. You can address them in easy, tactical ways (if the good intent is there, obviously.)
Liz Koppa and I did a segment “Safe Spaces Are Not What You Think”.
Call it safe spaces. Or mental health. Or taking the temperature down.
There’s a lot of simple ways to do it with little effort. Liz discussed them at length in the full video.
Here are my 4 favorite (read: the 4 we happened to say in this clip)
???? Meaningful 1:1 convos. Ask your team how they’re doing. And actually giving a cr*p about the answer.
This is everything. It’s how you uncover individual issues. And spot bigger trends across the org.
Put the day to day work aside. If you’re not scheduling regular touch bases with everyone on the team to discuss what *they* want to talk about, you’re missing the boat.
????Real time off (and encouraging people to actually take it.)
I used to be a “work a little on vacation” guy. Not because anyone asked me to. Maybe I’m a work addict? Maybe I get FOMO? I just didn’t feel right to not be engaged.
But, I was an idiot. Once I started tuning totally out on vacation, I realized it didn’t make a bit of difference. The rest of the team got it done. I had more fun. I was ready to rock when I got back.
You should want your whole team to feel that way. Give them permission, encourage them, make it mandatory, whatever. Tell them out loud.
If you feel like things are going to slip while someone is away, that’s a ‘you’ problem not a ‘them’ problem.
???? Remote flexibility. Even for onsite environments.
Once upon a time, when something broke around the house, I took a day off to fix it.
I won’t rehash the onsite v remote debate. But if you’re an onsite org and not giving people occasional flex just to deal with life’s issues…seriously what the hell?
???? Video-free meetings (sometimes)
You’re not going to believe this: me this guy, who posts videos non-stop, likes the camera. Shocker.
I’ve always seen it as a reminder that it’s time to be “on.”
But I get it. Meetings are exhausting in general. Especially when you’re back to back nonstop.
You don’t need to stare at the LCD mirror to be engaged all the time.