How you navigate big curveballs affects employee confidence, teamwork, and productivity. By demonstrating strong leadership now, your team can take pride in how the company handled this difficult year.
CREATURES OF HABIT
Have you heard? This has been a difficult year! Phrases like “the new normal” and “these unprecedented times” have permeated our vocabulary for a reason. We’ve all been experiencing major shifts in our daily lives due to Covid-19 – sometimes on top of other life events like moving, having a baby, or retiring. While we can (deservedly) pat ourselves on the back for adapting the best we can, we can also acknowledge that change is hard – and we humans don’t like it!
Why do we fear change? Dr. David Rock, co-author of the Handbook of Neuroleadership explains: “We like Certainty. Certainty brings with it clarity and predictability, therefore change may often activate a threat circuitry in the brain. This can trigger powerful effects on our body and our emotions – which we refer to as stress.” Even good changes can rattle us a bit and give the sense of not being in control. We like to have things we can rely on and the ability to confidently make plans.
REFLECT, DECIDE, COMMUNICATE
Amid this tsunami of change, it’s more important than ever to maintain your company values. What was the reason the company was founded in the first place? What commitments did it make? What are its principles? Using your company’s mottos and pledges gives you a solid base on which to communicate. Show your employees that the pillars of your company are still strong by making decisions based on your values and not on fear and short-term comfort. Difficult decisions will still have to be made, but the more open you are, the more your employees will understand the reasons.
Depending on the size of your company, you might not be able to check in with every employee directly. If that’s the case, try to check in with each department while encouraging supervisors to make those individual connections. The pandemic has affected us all in specific ways, and one person’s stressors may be completely different from their neighbors. Take note of what people are worried about, and see if there’s anything that can be done at work to ease the stress.
For instance, many people are worried about violating the ever changing travel restrictions of their state. Other employees may be concerned for their safety when returning to work onsite. By simply providing targeted resources and guidance, you are showing that the company understands their legitimate concerns and wants to help. Make sure everyone knows they can always ask for advice from your HR department, and help your employees stay up to date on company, state, and federal policy changes.
AWARD AND RECOGNIZE
It’s no secret that happy employees are great employees to have. They are the lifeblood of the company and are working through a stressful environment to get their jobs done right and on time. If employees feel like they’re working as hard as they can and getting no recognition, it could spell the end of a great relationship. It’s imperative for employees to feel truly valued by the company. By expressing your (and the company’s) gratitude, you’d be bringing some much-needed positivity into the workplace. If you’re not already, look for opportunities to thank employees and let them know they’re doing a great job. A little recognition goes a long way.
At Dion, we recommend having a recognition program in place with meaningful and personal rewards for various achievements. From safety and certifications to sales goals and years of service, there are plenty of opportunities to thank employees for their hard work and dedication. With an award program in place, you can better track these achievements and be prepared with a meaningful reward. As experts in jewelry award design and manufacture, we know the impact our products have on company morale and pride among employees. If you’re considering custom rings, pins, cufflinks, or other jewelry awards, check out our website for some inspiration and more information. However you thank your employees, make sure it’s genuine and meaningful.
By Aubrey Dion
Aubrey Dion is proud to be back working for the family business she grew up in. Over the years, she has performed a wide variety of jobs in both the office and factory, becoming a true "jack of all trades." Aubrey credits her quick learning ability to her strong theatre background, where memorization and attention to detail are vital. Working in the marketing department allows her to stay creative and work on exciting new projects for the company.