The CIPD magazine People Management ran an interesting article around an interview they did with Mo Gawdat, former Chief Business Officer at Google and a happiness evangelist. Gawdat will be making a keynote speech at this year’s virtual CIPD conference in November outlining his views on leadership and employee happiness during a global crisis.
Mo says something in the interview that resonates with 10Eighty’s philosophy: ”I had a simple view of management and leadership when I was at Google, which was that it was no longer my job to do the job, it was my job to trust in my team to do the job. I spent my time focused on creating an environment where they felt amazing and wanted to work hard”.
Of course, in lockdown, creating a great workplace environment is complicated but start by looking for elements of shared experience. On conference calls, make time for the socialising that many workers miss when they work from home. If necessary, start online meetings with an ice-breaker, getting to know you type exercise, or a three things to be grateful round table.
Contributing from the home office
Working from home creates difficulties for employers in these unsettling times in terms of providing support for both employees and customers.
Your people need to feel confident of their part in the bigger picture, their contribution to strategic goals and the mission of the enterprise; they need to feel engaged and connected to colleagues and leaders. Where leaders can create that sense of belonging, then employees enjoy great productivity and improved wellbeing at work.
For most people, the pandemic has meant dramatic changes to their ordinary routines; good leaders need to focus on connecting with their people, taking the time to enquire of employees as to their work and wellbeing, and to share with them their own experience that of other team members. Leadership needs to be there to inspire, encourage and motivate employees who are dealing with this new way of working.
Concerns and challenges
Some of us have taken to working from home like ducks to water; we are lucky to thrive on home-working, but others may, for example, live in crowded housing, perhaps with children or other dependants to care for, or be a single carer trying to juggle work and personal responsibilities.
Every one of your employees has a different set of concerns and challenges to face and either through formal or informal conversations it’s important that leaders are able to build a culture of trust and inclusion and that they take account of the challenges faced by their workforce.
At 10Eighty, we focus on making sure everyone has access to the information they need and collaborative support; and we recommend that team leaders, managers and HR adapt their communication style to accommodate different people and their preferences for working and meeting via email, phone and video to suit the needs of workers as closely as possible.