Many employees in today's workforce are NOT OKAY given the current
state of the world, especially here in the U.S.. Here are a few ways you can be a people-centric leader during times of crisis and make your people who are hurting feel valued, respected, seen, and heard (what inclusion is all about!).
1. Make Space
Offer accommodations if people struggle to show up to work immediately following a crisis (a day off, work-from-home, flex hours, etc.)
Encourage people/project leaders to take the first 5 minutes of a meeting to provide people with a SAFE opportunity to share what they are presently experiencing
Provide resources to groups who may want to hold a listening session (e.g., airtime, physical space, budget for an external counselor/trauma-based facilitator).
2. Be Authentic
Talk to your employees about how you have been personally affected by what's going on. Or your show your passion–REAL passion, not feigned passion–for wanting to protect your people who are/will be negatively affected.
Use whatever mode of communication you typically use (all hands, email, intranet post, video, etc.)–no need to schedule some big statement or event that may miss this moment
3. Plan for ACTION
Contact your benefits representatives/Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provider to learn about what support is currently available to your people in need and what additional resources could be made available in the future
Equip any employee resource groups that advocate for human rights with what they need to support their members
Activate/establish community partnerships to learn the best ways to contribute to their work (donations, volunteering, etc.)
4. Find Role Models
Emulate what other organizations/executives are getting right but also remember that we’re all human (mind the line between canceling & accountability). A few examples of companies doing just that:
Dick's Sporting Goods publicly committed that all employees have consistent and safe access to healthcare services, regardless of where they live. (Check out this growing list of companies offering abortion travel benefits to U.S. workers)
Ben & Jerry's put out one of the most actionable statements in response to the social unrest after the murder of George Floyd (check it out here)
NBC shared 100 actions companies and organizations have taken in response to AAPI hate crimes (read it here)
While we're all about using diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies to bring people together across their differences, sometimes the we also need to step up when people are falling apart BECAUSE of the identity groups to which they belong.
Unsure where to begin to best support your employees from various identity groups? Reach out today to learn more about how Mattingly Solutions can partner with you to better serve EVERYONE in your organization, especially those in crisis.