Don’t Be Clever, Be Present
Leading for Wellbeing in Our Post-COVID Reality
In this issue: Don’t Be Clever, Be Present / Game Over (Getting COVID Protocols Right) / From Languishing to Flow / “We’ll Give You a Week Off, Please Don’t Quit.”
Why you’re getting this:
I'm Andrea J. Miller and this is my “The Wellthy Leader” Newsletter. I send this to people in my networks, people I’ve met recently, and friends I want to keep in touch with. You can unsubscribe (SEE THE VERY BOTTOM OF THE EMAIL) anytime, I won’t be offended.
Don’t Be Clever, Be Present
Every day it feels like there’s a new, clever term to describe the latest adventure in our post-COVID (un)reality ” The Great Wait”, “The Big Quit’ and my new personal favorite term, being “Vexcluded”. Clever terms aside, behind these words, are very real concerns impacting both employers and employees. At the core, it's about how can we stay well, while doing the right thing and, dare I say it, also making money.
To address it, we need to know what any of it even means in current times. How do we begin to define what “well” is in our post-COVID world? For most individuals, it’s about their overall wellbeing (see my most recent Entrepreneur.com article below) and that of their families. That includes physical, mental, and emotional health as well as several other related factors impacting both.
On a practical level, from a work standpoint, without wellbeing, it’s almost impossible to do great work, let alone be truly productive. When we don’t feel well, are in pain, or are generally uncomfortable it can be difficult to focus, creativity goes out the window and while we may be physically there, our attention is usually elsewhere. And, getting sick can be expensive for everyone.
As we’ve witnessed over the last year and a half, COVID has taken an extreme mental health toll. The seemingly continual health, financial and other worries have left most of us feeling tired, overwhelmed, and/or anxiety-ridden…at times, also leading to very real physical symptoms.
Even in and sometimes especially during crazy times, it’s easy to tell yourself you’re “handling” things. I know that’s what I did, during a particularly difficult period in my life, until I no longer could. I was simultaneously trying to manage my own unexpected health issues and the final illnesses and end-of-life care of my parents. In retrospect, I can see that the stress of the situation had a major impact, but if you would’ve asked the at the time I would’ve said I had it under control.
While everyone’s circumstances are different, we are all currently “handling” or (often) not, something…and even if we don’t realize it yet, it’s likely having an impact. That’s why it’s so important to normalize and prioritize wellbeing both at home and at work (which now, is often the same).
Doing What’s Right
At this point, you may be wondering if it’s worth investing in your employees’ wellbeing given all the talk about the “Big Quit”. Whether or not they’re all planning to leave, first, and most importantly, they’re not gone yet.
While uncertainty, loneliness, and a whole lot of YOLO may have people considering and perhaps even looking for the next best thing, how else can you get them to stay if without a better alternative?
According to research by Limeade, “employees who feel cared for by their employer are 10 times more likely to recommend their company as a great place to work, nine times more likely to stay at the company for three or more years and twice as likely to be engaged at work.” Given the cost to replace them (if you can even find someone to replace them), it’s at least worth considering how to get them to stay.
It often comes down to culture. Even if you think your employees are replaceable, just be aware that their replacements will also be asking “how do they treat their employees?”
Finally, there’s the last part of the equation … making money. Putting aside the very steep costs to replace staff, how you show up in all aspects of your business matters to your customers. In an MNI Trends report, they found Generation Z, a group with nearly $4 billion in discretionary to spend is “driven by values.” If you don’t think how you meet your team’s challenges has implications, think again,
In this crazy, uncertain time there are few things that you can be sure of and the value of supporting employee wellbeing is one of them.
If you’re looking for more ideas for increasing your employees’ wellbeing, check out my most recent article on Entrepreneur.com:
Game Over (Getting COVID Protocols Right)
In case you missed it, the World Cup qualifier between Brazil and Argentina was suspended minutes after kick-off in São Paulo, Brazil after Brazilian health officials came onto the pitch and escorted multiple Argentinian soccer players away. The players in question were said to have made false statements when they arrived in Brazil, omitting the fact that they had been in the UK in the past 14 days.
The Argentinian Football Association (AFA) president Claudio Tapia released a statement specifying the health legislation that regulates every South American tournament and the protocols they followed to the letter."
What does this all mean for your company? If you want to bring your employees back to the office and you’ve created policies or are in the process of developing them, you need to have clarity about how you’ll enforce them? Are you ready to pull your team “off the field” if they don’t follow your protocols? In this time of extreme uncertainty, your staff wants to know they can trust you. Are you, like the Brazilian officials, ready to do what’s necessary even if it means making some unpopular decisions?
From the Always Insightful Adam Grant…his Mario Kart theory of moving from languishing to flow:
And finally, from the NYT’s…