I've been listening a lot this week...
Mar 18, 2020
...Listening to our employees - we heard a lot of uncertainty and fear.
Listening to our clients - we heard a lot of worry about working remote (tune in tomorrow for Pt. 2 on that)
Here is how we addressed our employee uncertainties yesterday.
Problem: Employee fears and doubts
Uncertain futures create fear. Between the next shutdown, removal of personal freedom or economic hit, knowing what tomorrow will bring is impossible to predict. All of us are living with this sense of uncertainty. During times like this we turn to our leaders, and it is our responsibility as leaders to be helpful, supportive and transparent.
Employees want to feel secure and supported to work efficiently and effectively, allowing them to later “unplug” stress free with family and friends.
Solution: Remote discussion and questionnaire
Create the new norm. A healthy balance of optimism and realism followed by open conversation is the key to a constructive and collaborative workplace.
To combat this fear, T|S decided to have an “Ask the CEO session” during our weekly stand-up. In preparation for the call, we emailed a questionnaire, using an O365 product, MS Forms, to each employee to fill out anonymously.
Here were our questions:
- What questions do you have for Chris?
- What are our biggest risks as a company?
- What are our biggest opportunities as a company?
Twenty T|S employees gathered virtually via our normal platform MS Teams and our leadership team shared their perspective’s.
We deliberately didn’t prepare our responses; we spoke from the heart.
Each question, comment and concern were heard and addressed, followed by an all staff open dialogue. We didn’t set time restraints and we didn’t rush the process. We remained optimistic and were eager to help each other and our clients through this difficult time.
A few ideas that came from our session included -
What long term changes will stem from today?
This may include the frequency of our travel and the tools we use to connect remotely.
There were also a lot of ideas around remote socialization, so we are going to try things like “virtual game nights” and “tea with Tim.”
It’s simple, honest discussions like this that feel the most powerful and has been a contributor to our success as a company.
Providing a safe space to be genuinely transparent and heard allows for great collaboration and a more productive workplace.
Think|Stack is built on our guiding values, the most important being Family Trust.
You are our human family, and we want to help. If you are facing any of the problems above or have one you’d like to discuss we’d love to talk.
Human Centered Design can lead us through this crisis.
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Chris Sachse, CEO, Think|Stack