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Let’s start off on the right foot

“The greater the doubt, the greater the awakening; the smaller the doubt, the smaller the awakening. No doubt, no awakening.” –C.C. Chang


 

expand-benefits
The skinny

A new report shows that 98% of HR leaders and C-suite decision-makers from across the U.S. plan to newly offer or expand at least one benefit due to lessons learned during this crisis.

That seems like good news.

It is. Not to get philosophical too early on, but the pandemic really showcased the undeniable interconnectedness of work and life.

Wow.

Yes. And it also showcased some ugly things too.

Like how I can eat an entire bowl of Cool Whip?

Yikes. More along the societal lines. Some aspects of society and business that were long overdue for change were laid pretty bare.

Like?

A broken care infrastructure, lack of mental health support, lack of flexibility at work, societal injustices. Just to name a few.

Not great.

You can say that again. But there's some good news. Many organizations rose to the challenge and recognized that perhaps some previously overlooked benefits were in fact life-changing for their employees.

Next stop, change station?

Woo Woo, all aboard! Lessons learned put into action, or should we say, locomotion... Leaders are mainly focused on expanding those benefits that seem to be highest priority for their employees: child and senior care, flexibility around when work gets done and expanded mental health support.  

That sounds great!

Well, there're going to be some exchanges. Leaders expect to de-prioritize less relevant benefits like onsite child care, paid vacation days, commuter benefits and onsite food and meal perks.  

Seems fair.

You know what isn’t? When the world lies to you. Work-life “balance” (please make air quotes here) is a total lie. Work and life are not independent entities that fight for 50/50, perfect scale equilibrium. They’re 100% interconnected with one affecting the other and vice versa. 

You're quite philosophical today.

It’s good to reflect, not deflect when major catastrophes happen. Despite the total chaos and heartbreak of the past year, it’s encouraging that the importance of benefits and how they can truly make all the difference has been reinforced tenfold.

Date with data: 57% of senior leaders said that their organizations are assigning higher priority to care benefits to better support their employees in both work and life.

Double date: 63% of leaders plan to increase their organization’s already existing child care benefits.

Further reading: It’s time to reimagine where and how work will get done.

Take note: 35 companies that boosted their employee benefits amid COVID-19.


head-heart-icon
The skinny

When empathy is weaved into everyday culture, people relate with their heads and hearts which can open their minds to new ways of working.

Really?

Definitely. In a human workplace, the need for everyone to achieve his/her/their potential is a keystone of culture. But, with so many different personalities and needs in a workplace, to have a great culture is to have a multifaceted one.

Huh. Go on.

Just like an introvert and an extrovert will get value out of different workplace practices (camera on vs. camera off meetings, lol), same is true for employees who come from different backgrounds. And since workplace diversity is one of the most important topics and needs right now, creating a culture that focuses on empathetic practices is key to reach and “wow” those different personalities/backgrounds.

So, empathy fits where?

Everywhere, you might say. Quick reminder: Empathy is the capacity to understand how others experience the world. It’s a powerful business tool both within and outside a company. Real talk: When product teams have empathy for customers, they design better products. When your team members are empathetic to your crying toddler (or spouse) and support you and your need for a flexible workday, that feels good. Right?

Show me the empathy!

There’s the spirit! Key culture artifacts of empathy include giving and receiving thanks, celebrating successes, supporting colleagues who need help, sharing positive emotions and seeing each other as individuals.

Totes quotes: “When empathy and belonging are present, every employee can be passionately engaged, empowered and united by common purpose.” –Eric Mosley, CEO and co-founder of Workhuman


 

burnout-icon
The skinny

Late-stage-pandemic burnout can negatively affect productivity, enthusiasm and overall life purpose.

Not burnout again.

Sick burn. But hear me out! Now there’s a NEW layer of burnout you may not have been aware of. A slow burn, if you will. An onion of burnout. And it’s def making a whole bunch of people cry.  

Do I even want to know? Oh, wait.

You’re living in the burn, aren’t you? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Call it a bout of existential work-related ennui provoked partly by the realization that sitting in the same chair in the same room staring at the same computer with the same family members (plant/animal/human/other) and wearing the same pants has left many of us feeling like burned-out husks of humans. (Ha, JK—we have definitely changed our pants…)

Husky.

Empty husks unite! Because of the unpleasant cocktail of boredom, dread and exhaustion we’re all swigging, tasks that were once easy and smooth sailing have now become difficult and draining. Or, as the doctors like to call it: behavior anhedonia.

Ok, smarty pants.

It basically means the loss of the ability to take pleasure in activities that once brought joy. Which can seriously impact productivity and job satisfaction. And you know that whole, “What day even is it?” bit we’re all doing? That’s actually a real science thing.

Science thing?

Yes. The endless monotony laced with acute anxiety contributes to a sense that time moves differently (or not at all). It’s actually dulled our ability to form meaningful memories.

Again, wow.

Right?! Are you ready for the good news?

Please.

The antidote seems to be: new experiences. Trying something new can help you break free of the husk and help you start forming happy memories again. Even if it’s something as simple as trying a new food. Or going to a different grocery store. ANYTHING different will help. Stepping out of your comfort zone, or the zone of quar, is going to be challenging. But you know what they say.

What do they say?

Fake it till you make it! #letsdothis  

Totes quotes: “It feels like the Kübler-Ross states of grief, bouncing around you in a sort of circle. I feel like I’ve done all of them at least twice.” —Elizabeth Abend, 41, head of HR for a small chain of boutique fitness studios.


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