In the Best of Times and the Worst of Times

Our focus this month is on effective work environments and what HR professionals can do to support others in achieving a meaningful blend of all their interests.

Now, more than ever, employers are having to develop new and supportive ways to help employees deal with all the anxiety and fear around the current pandemic. And the support is more than just restricting non-essential travel and working from home. It is truly a matter of understanding and empathizing with the feelings that those employees have about the impact on their entire life and those around them.

It is important that the senior leadership, supported by the HR professionals, do what they need to do to protect their staff while ensuring panic is minimized. In one situation, a health professional referred to both the virus pandemic as well as the fear pandemic. It is this latter situation that employers can help their employees by ensuring that there is good, factual information provided on a regular basis. Organizations can be the voice of calm, patience, and compassion.

A recent study from the World Economic Forum concluded that employees, especially younger ones, wanted a model of “responsible leadership” where senior leaders paid attention to the business performance as well as the business impact on society. Given the need to be calm and compassionate with our current global situation, how the senior leadership communicates that calmness and compassion will send loud messages about what is important in the future.

Many of your institutions may have ended classes early or moved to an on-line environment. Ensure that you do your part in supporting your students with calmness, patience, and compassion. By supporting each other, we will get through this event.

Eileen Stewart, BA, MBA

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