Continued uncertainty around the transition of power following the U.S. election is causing sustained anxiety for an electorate that was already grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic and a weak economy creating an environment ripe for damaging interactions on both sides of the aisle. As partisan tensions rise, the workplace can be a haven from incivility.
According to research from United Minds, Weber Shandwick and KRC Research, 77 percent of U.S. workers agree that their place of work is civil and respectful, while only 26 percent find the general tone of the U.S. to be civil and respectful. Organizations have an opportunity and in many ways, a responsibility to intentionally foster and promote civility while also creating an overall experience that puts employee needs at the core.
How can companies ensure a human focused approach in exceptionally trying times? Here are five ways to support your people now and in the coming weeks:
1. Lead With Values
Take stock of your organization’s shared values and behaviors. True values driven leadership, where both senior executives and managers play a key role in ensuring the wellbeing of their people and not just monitoring performance is essential.
2. Give People Space and Time
Allow employees to take what they need to process the impact of continued uncertainty. Promote mental wellness and total wellbeing. In doing so, organizations can help diffuse tensions building both inside and outside of the workplace.
3. Create Impartial Forums
Help your people feel that they can bring their true selves to work. Informal, impartial conversations and safe spaces in groups or on an individual level empower teammates to share their unique perspectives and challenges, while also forging deeper, authentic connections.
4. Support with Flexibility
Provide employees with flexibility in where, when and how they work. Productivity and flexibility go hand in hand, and this year has shown us that teams are resilient and adaptable.
5. Provide New Tools and Benefits
Look beyond your current suite of offerings. New mental health resources, like meditation and talk therapy apps, and other benefits can help employees struggling with stress and burnout.
Despite the extreme polarization in our country and the extraordinary challenges and compounded crises of this year, the elevation of a human centered workplace is a bright spot. By renewing their focus on key priorities, leadership teams can not only strengthen their workplaces going forward, but also fundamentally change them for the better.
Download as a PDF here.