Now more than ever, leading with empathy and taking care of your employees is critical to the long-term success of your business and our nation as a whole. And really, it’s just the right thing to do. Your employees are your greatest asset, and with everything going, especially for companies that weren’t remote before, they may be feeling isolated and scared. Maintaining company morale and encouraging self-care may be one of your most critical new responsibilities.
We believe in leading with empathy every day. During these uncertain times, we’ve stepped it up a bit, and you can, too, with these suggestions we’ve implemented at Proofpoint ?:
1.) Transparency & Communication: We’ve shared several all-team updates in Slack about the steps we’re taking as a business to secure cash-flow, minimize spending, drive new business and revenue, and other strategies we’re taking to position Proofpoint to weather the storm (such as developing packages and going after new markets outside our ICP). We are currently working on ways to engage with and connect on a deeper level with each of our clients, including a weekly Mastermind group.
2.) Family First, always! There are no two-ways about it: kids are home and need their parents! We have completely loosened our expectations during meeting times. Employees have our blessing to have kids present and/or attend to their kids’ needs on calls by muting their video and stepping away from the camera to tend to their family during this time.
3.) Health & Well-Being: Mandatory days-off. Each person in the agency takes a day off of their choosing, for however long we’re in quarantine (one person per week). This is in addition to any time-off our team may already have planned or would like to take. The goal for this personal day off is to do something for themselves seriously unplug from work and the news. Truly just take a day off!
4.) Exercise and healthy competition: We are a fully remote team, so working from home is not new to us…but these circumstances are certainly challenging. We have set-up a Slack channel in which our team is participating in a 30-day challenge (we’ve started with Squats!). Once that challenge is up, we’ll pick a new one and start again, for as long as the team wants and/or as long as we have to be practicing social distancing.
5.) Compassion through helping others: As a business, we are offering free marketing consultations to any small business that would like to talk through marketing decisions/struggles during this time. Completely free, no strings attached. Just doing our part to help other small businesses that are really struggling right now. We believe this will also boost our team’s morale. Everyone in our company has said they want to participate in the consultations. Right now, many of our clients have pulled back on marketing, so we have a little extra time on our hands. This will keep us busy and sharp during this time.
6.) A little bit of fun and downtime: We scheduled weekly (virtual) Happy Hours with our team and a number of the contractors and freelancers we work with. The idea is to get everyone together and talking! Just a fun online hangout. No agendas, no set topics. Whatever anyone wants to bring to the table. One of our employees loves to cook, so she said she would gladly do a cooking show for the rest of the group!
7.) Wellness Workshop: We recently sponsored a company Wellness Workshop (virtual) with a former colleague turned wellness coach. It was a great time for all of us to check-in with ourselves and each other and learn strategies that we can use to prioritize our own personal wellness.
8.) Grocery Delivery Subscription: We purchased a yearly subscription to Shipt or Instacart for our team, that way they don’t have to leave the house if they don’t want to, and can get all groceries delivered straight to the house!
9.) Surprise and Delight: Randomly, we sent our team a box of gourmet cookies (via Amazon). And the other day, we sent everyone a $10 gift card to Starbucks. We also bought take-out for lunch for the team. I’m positive we’ll have a few more surprises up our sleeves for as long as we need to remain in quarantine.
Let’s get to the Point ?:
This one’s easy: do everything you can to show your team you are there for them, you care about them, and you’re putting their needs and best interests at the heart of your leadership. Do this now, and always.