It’s critical that you support your employees not just because it’s a good idea from a human being perspective because the financial/operational ROI that is a product of that support can not and should not be ignored if growing a healthy profitable brand is your goal!
My goal is that I help all leaders understand the following tips, tools, and frameworks that will help support your employees from a 360 Perspective!
- 1. What does real-life support mean?
- 2. An Example of Real Life Support
- 3. The mesh between Real Life Support & Organizational Structure: The Mindset behind Creating Empathic Policies & Living into your employees personal context
- 4. Importance and positive impact when you treat those you lead exactly like you would family member or close friend
What is Real Life Support?
For me real-life support is simple, I believe all leaders should have an emotional investment into each employee’s overall background, core beliefs, and internal drivers that lead to happiness. Research shows when you do so all key performance indicators spike, leading to higher levels of productivity and overall organizational growth. Now you’re probably asking yourself what does real-life support mean, what areas of life should I be focusing on as a manager and as a leader? Real-life support means when you build deep emotional relationships with those you lead, thus you find out about changes in marital status, changes in financial stability, changes in overall life perspectives and trajectory and you do everything in your power to support them, guide them and to some degree be their emotional backbone. In layman terms, it means supporting and appreciating our employees beyond their day-to-day deliverables and the common tasks that lead to biweekly checks. Now outside of the obvious reality that doing this is a good human being thing to do, caring about these factors also leads to increased trust, higher-performing employer brand & a higher level of engagement day/day! Real-life support is tough and is definitely something that can be uncomfortable but it’s vital if you want to create a truly inclusive and productive culture.
Example of Real Life Support?
You find out that your direct report has a desire to leave the company and pursue a completely opposite career choice: implementation of real-life support in this scenario would look like you as a leader supporting them along that journey. For starters she would immediately erase all ego connected to the process, knowing that it would be in the best interest of the brand to retain and convince that employee to stay. Secondly, you do your part to find any literature, mentors, and resources that will help educate their next career move. And third, you would have a consistent amount of thoughtful conversations around unpacking why you want to make this change and how this change going impacts their long-term life and provide feedback that will make change, share perspectives and enlighten them to obstacles “aka providing tough love and support”. Now doing this definitely doesn’t fall into the day-to-day responsibilities as a manager or a leader but trust me you will notice a huge spike in the engagement category during the time you do have left with that employee. You will also notice a spike and overall employee engagement and productivity because that employee for sure will tell stories and share their personal experience around how their direct report and the company overall truly support their transition and how appreciative they are for that.
The mesh between Real Life Support & Organizational Structure: The Mindset behind Creating Empathic Policies
For me when thinking about the synergy between organizational culture in real life support I immediately go to understanding the true context of your employee’s reality and understanding it’s different for every business/organization. Let’s say that due to the margins within your business you cannot pay 90% of your employees over $14 bucks per hour which is obviously not a wage you can realistically live on. An example of an empathic policy would be creating a graduation model within your career mapping, L&D, and promotion policies. Meaning you would learn where your employees want to be long term in life and build strategic mentorship partnerships with those brands and create internship access for your people to migrate out of your company after an 18-month – 2-year commitment. This example has and will drive engagement through the roof and increase employee retention. It’s a beautiful example of a win-win for the company and employee.
For me I treat every employee I lead like family. This part of my “real-life support strategy I keep very simplistic. When I design my communication methods, styles, and overall day-to-day interactions with those I lead I merely think about what I want my son, daughter, dear friend… anyone in my family to experience these types of day-to-day interactions; if my answer is NO I immediately adjust and make sure I utilize self-awareness and self-reflection. My goal is to create experiences I would be proud to see my son, wife, or family member experience. That’s my goal and I judge all my actions off of that simple North Star.
Many companies will feel a bit out of place with the tips and perspectives above but I hope those who can see past the unorthodox nature and realize the true objective value these tips can bring, my hope is that leaders will use this as a motivation to get to work and start appreciating and supporting their employees overall!