Keep the workplace calm in the midst of societal unrest

We are seeing how behaviors are getting quite out of control.  This climate "out there" is so divided.  Our passion is turning into violence.  There seems to be irrational, I believe, extreme feelings on what is "right" and what is "wrong".  When in fact, we are all different.  Our differences make us think differently. Our differences are what makes us valuable to others whether it be at work or in any other type of relationship. Our job is to appreciate our differences and see them as benefits to our business/organization and to us personally as we seek to grow.

As a leader/business owner, you need to role model how this plays out.  How do you do this? Well, you  need to get to know your own personality.  You need to identify your own personal biases.  You need to be honest to yourself and truly challenge yourself to write down those decisions you made based on your personal opinions rather than what is important for the business as a whole.  We all have biases.  How we remain objective while holding our own personal feelings and thoughts to ourselves where they are not useful to decision making is the difference between effective leadership and leadership that may not be at the level it should be.

I know what you are thinking, this isn't possible.  We are who we are.  True, we are, but yes it is possible and necessary.  It is important to stay true to yourself but you have to understand how that is effective the professional messages you portray.  Your business isn't about "you" it is about selling your products, selling your services and ensuring that you understand others needs and desires in a more meaningful manner.   That is how you focus appropriately and make business decisions that will appeal to others.  You need to start with your employees, as they represent you.  They are an extension of you.  In fact at times it is your employees who are the face of your business/organization.  Leaders may have the name recognition, but employees on the "front line" are the ones who make the difference for how you are perceived.

So..what am I saying.  For one, keep a peaceful, respectful work environment.  Be sure to solve any underlying conflicts among coworkers.  That is a HUGELY important thing to do and so many ignore conflict.  Secondly, be sure your staff is educated, aka trained, on important regulations that guide appropriate behaviors in the workplace but beyond that and your role modeling, be sure to act on behaviors contrary.  Third, be flexible, be open, engage your employees.  My clients know how important it is to engage employees to help make decisions and "real" and effective change. 

This is not just a warm and fuzzy way to lead, it is imperative.  Here are some additional tips I want to offer to consider changing your approach or improving your leadership skills when dealing with employees.

Employee engagement - fully involve them to guiding you in making important decisions.  The most knowledgeable employee is often your front line person, cashier, receptionist, secretary, maintenance employee. More often than not, they know what needs to be done far more than the leaders who are not doing the actual work.  

Recognize employees for their approach to their work when it is such that is positive and you want as a "guide" for others who are watching them.

Evaluate performance so you show employees that you care enough to take the time to help them be the best they can be and that you care enough to hear how they feel about their work situation.

Discipline those who are not supporting positive workplace behaviors.  If you ignore such behavior, the signal to others is that you are not doing your job as a leader and you lose alot of good people as a result either though turnover, lacking motivation, reduced performance and reduced trust and loyalty.  To avoid dealing with this is a big mistake as you can see.

Recognize the need for work/life balance.  This pandemic has made this even more of an issue.  Life has just gotten so much more complicated for all of us.  Be open to all different work arrangements, flex hours, alternative work schedules/days, reduced hours, telecommuting as a few.

Your reputation will stem largely from how you treat your employees.  Believe me this is far more important than most organizations realize.  I knew of a small business in town many years ago who would be late paying their staff.  Let me tell you, that's all I heard about them, never even heard about the products they sell.  So subsequently, most people avoided going there. Such subtle messaging is powerful.  How we treat others, is more important than most anything else in life.

I am recommending that you take the time and view some webinars that are on this website. Many are short and highly informative.  Understand the basics of leading.  For starters, consider the customer service webinar, discrimination in the workplace, by law you need to  do the anti harassment, so that's available as well.  What is coming soon to the website are new webinars: "Hidden Bias", "Termination best practices" and "Alternative Work Schedules".  All  hot topics especially in these uncertain, changing times where flexbility is the name of the game for the workplace. All providing you with good solid compliance and best practice guidelines on how to manage such functions and how you can more effectively manage your business and most important your staff.  There will be many more added including best practices related to managing telecommuting. 

I do offer group rates, so let me know if you want to do a series or one for a number of people.  I will do what I can to make this affordable for you.  For online subscription clients, you already have built in discounts.

Also, review the various video tips that are on this website.  Some are exclusive to monthly subscription and retainer clients but others are free.  Take the time.  I recognize time is an issue so  most are short but very informative.

When I speak of getting to know your strengths and areas of challenge, I make this easy through coaching.  Consider that as well, this alone can accelerate your leadership development. You can and need to keep growing as a business owner and leader if you want optimal success.

As always, HR is my passion and I want to make it as easy as possible for you to manage your staff in the most effective ways.  Knowing best practices from the years of experience I have makes information provided that much more valuable.


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