Since Covid-19 entered our lives about a year ago, many things have changed. Particularly in the workplace, a lot of things have changed radically and will never be the same. Nowadays, managers are used more like coaches and mentors rather than people who evaluate and track your work progress. Work conditions have become more flexible after the entrance of work-from-home, and so on.
Since everyone works from their own place, it’s difficult for people to work on something together and managers cannot really know their employees’ daily challenges to complete a task. Moreover, this situation has also brought many technological changes. Companies have acquired new programs to monitor the employees and even technologies that allow them to replace a manager with AI. This way managers have a more supervising role and are also there to stand by the employees’ emotional needs, due to the fragile psychology that people experience after all these changes.
Flexibility needs to be dealt with empathy
The number 1 rule for a good manager is to be understanding. Each person is unique and you need to accordingly adapt your behavior based on who you are talking with. To cultivate this empathetic atmosphere for your team, you need to have as main principles trust and care. It’s hard for a person to try and put himself in someone else’s shoes, make assumptions about their emotions and guess about his emotional needs. But, if you try to do so and succeed, you will see that your team will flourish and their productivity will be increased.
Practice is the key for more empathetic managers
Being empathetic in the workplace can be a tricky business. Many managers are confused about how to use this tool. It’s a widely known fact that you should not involve your personal life with your work and this is where the confusion makes sense. What you can do is make managers practice empathetic conversations, first with one another, before heading to the employees. This way they will observe their weaknesses about these talks and will be able to strengthen them. It is also an opportunity for them to face their fear of failure since these will not be actual live conversations with the employees.
Include a supportive network in your mindset
As a manager, you may imagine the difficulties that an employee faces when he’s working all alone from his home and the communication with you becomes more difficult. But you cannot know his exact issues and you need a way to be familiarized with these issues. What you can do is cooperate with a team success partner. A team success partner is someone that knows all the challenges that distributed employees have to deal with. As a result, you will be a more empathetic manager and you will cultivate a supportive mindset.
Optimize a manager’s responsibilities to make room for empathy
Managers have a lot on their plate and their position is a very responsible one. It’s only logical that they don’t have the necessary time to spend on becoming more empathetic in the workplace. A way to achieve that is by either creating smaller teams under the supervision of one single manager or take some tasks off his hands. Either way, they will have more time to invest in creating deeper and meaningful relationships with the employees.
Empathy and support are much needed in every work environment right now and if you manage to adapt it in your team, the results will speak for themselves.