As we are bracing for the grand reopening of American businesses, there is a spectrum of emotions among workers preparing to return. Some are fearful while others were ready to return to work “last month.” Many have been laid off or let go. Maybe you are unsure of the future of your job. Have you thought about how your manager is going to approach you and your coworkers about the state of your workplace and how you’ll respond?
With the changing economy and employment landscape, emotions run high. Your behavior as an employee during this time matters. It’s easy to think only inwardly about your job, your family, and trying to navigate the next steps. “What about my job?” “Where can I find a new job if I lose the one I have?”
You might be tempted to take your emotions out on your manager, whether verbally or nonverbally. Or maybe gossip with coworkers about calamity coming down the pike. And keeping thoughts locked up in your head is just as bad as verbally lashing out.
Let’s take three steps back to look at some work-related realities your manager is facing and that you may not be thinking about. An employee’s perspective can be limited. Keep this in mind as we take a bird’s eye view of what your manager is likely going through.
They know things you might not about the logistics and financial burdens occurring in your organization from the effects of Coronavirus.
Most leaders don’t want to lay off employees or fire 20 people. Most want employees and their families thriving and getting paid. They are concerned about the organization and your future.
And it’s not as simple as thinking, “They’re a big company. They have lots of money. Just keep all employees!”
Leaders are trying to juggle the burdens and forces at play during this unprecedented time. Your manager probably wants to be all about the employees’ well-being, but there are stakeholders, vendors, and competitors involved.
Stakeholders apply pressure because it’s their money the company is using, and they don’t want to invest when nobody is working.
Leaders have to live with the emotional toll and heartache of having to lay off 500 employees.
While workers struggle to make ends meet at this time, they don’t know the sleepless nights and hurt leaders may also be wrestling with. They know families will fight to stay afloat. And it’s just as hard for them as they think about all of you.
So do your boss a favor. Reach out to him or her – just as a person – and ask them how they’re doing. Find out what you might be able to do for them, whether work-related or personal. You may be the only employee to ask, and you will probably make their day.
On top of that, what can you do proactively to help ease work-related issues? Is there research you can do to further a project left unfinished? Can you initiate a virtual meeting with coworkers to figure out a way to solve a problem? How can you be a problem-solver or come up with solutions for your group? Can you think of ways to better your department’s processes?
Above all, remember that your leader is also a person with worries and stress. A little empathy their way might be appreciated. The next time you’re tempted to complain about what’s going on in your organization, stand in their shoes – and give your boss a break!