As an essential component of the 7 Question - 7 Promise Framework that I put together to help business owners, I advise employers to ask their employees the essential question “Do I have balance?” and I considered it essential for business owners to attain and maintain a “Yes” answer from their employees on that question. When I pose this question of balance, it is generally thought of in two ways: Balance as a way to help people negotiate the demands of work and life, and also making sure that team members have the most productive days they are capable of.
When a crisis strikes, like the present calamity posed by the Covid 19 Virus, both of the core elements of balance are placed at the forefront, as organizations are tasked with the dual responsibilities of maintaining profitability, productivity and normalcy to the maximum degree possible, while also taking great care to help employees to negotiate the obvious stresses and demands of work and life as multiple levels of government advise or mandate the practice of social distancing.
This is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate to your employees that you legitimately care about them, that you recognize the weight of the present circumstances facing all of Earth’s residents, and you understand how these events will be disruptive to your employees’ collective ability to maintain balance, through no fault of their own. After all, the prescribed measures that have been devised to prevent the rapid spread of the Covid 19 Virus, including quarantines, social distancing practices, the elimination of several forms of entertainment many people enjoy, and a reduction of regular interactions with friends, family members and coworkers, are the epitome of disruptive behaviors.
As I mentioned in my book The Patient Organization, the leaders of most organizations see time as money, and providing employees with time off is often regarded as a luxury that is granted at the expense of profitability in some form or another. Yet, becoming a Patient Organization in your own right comes with the understanding that applying a longform brand of thinking to circumstances that involve accommodating the needs of your employees will pay off in the future in a variety of ways, including the creation of loyalty.
More often than not, organizations respond to crises with the polar opposite of patience. Rather than taking a measured approach to diagnosing and solving problems through a lens of confidence and awareness, these organizations panic and make mistakes resulting from shortsightedness. Often, these rash decisions shatter the confidence of the very people who work for those organizations, and add to the disorder in their lives. In short, these panicked organizations overreact, and strip their employees of the ability to answer “Yes” to the question of whether or not they have balance.
Being present for your workers when they are most in need of leadership, understanding and receptiveness in light of the life-altering inconveniences posed by the Covid 19 Virus is one of the crucial steps you can take to reinforce your commitment to balance, and to help your employees maintain their “Yes” on balance even during a season of crisis. Despite the uncertainty of the times we presently find ourselves living in, you can reassure your employees that you will maintain your commitment to them, and they will respond to the support you provided to them with continued devotion even as things progressively begin to improve.
As challenging as it may be, as a leader of a Patient Organization you can use the Covid 19 crisis as an opportunity to reinforce the bond between your organization and its employees, and strengthen your employees’ bond with your company. Better yet, if you are able to communicate this commitment to each of your employees in a face-to-face fashion - even if you have to do so through a computer screen - it will ease their hearts and minds, and let them know that you care about their ability to maintain balance, no matter how unstable the world may seem at the moment.