It is still important for people on teams and working in organizations that they believe that their leaders care about them personally. Performance counts but these team members make it happen and people are not just cogs in the wheel. A leadership axiom often quoted is, “team members don’t care how much the leader knows, they want to know how much their leaders’ care about them.” Caring about the people we lead does not mean liking, loving, or being a friend of each team member. It does mean respecting them and treating them with dignity. The most consistent feedback from people in organizations is the feeling of being respected and treated with dignity.
Such connection creates the much talked about “chemistry” that exists on great teams. Culture is an outgrowth of all that we experience on the teams we participate in at work or in sports. One of the most important components of maintaining healthy individuals and teams is the communication with people. It is not the volume it is the fact that good leaders communicate interest in their team member’s health and welfare often. The simple question of asking about how a person feels and is there anything the leader can do to support the person means a lot. Managers do not need to pry into people’s lives but just expressing interest in them is a sign of being with them for more than just the work they generate. It should create a patern of interaction where the team member is the focus of interest.
Today’s world shows that isolation and separation have added to the stress of this pandemic with depression and suicidal concerns increasing on help lines. While assignments and duties are expected the leader’s compassion and concern during these times are always a plus to the team members. These efforts have a direct impact on the mental health of team members. The offer of interest, support and resources of assistance are needed and greatly apprecited by team members. The well being of our teams should be a focus of our leadership and its communication. Attending behavior lets the person know that they are important, adding to their sense of worth and value to the team. Such outreach helps mitigate the uncertainty of our current times. The stability of strong leadership, compassion, and concern can reinforce the values of great organizations. People will remember how we stood by them during the tough times.