We have all been there where our bosses don't respect our time and seem to pivot on a dime. We vowed that when we got to that position we would never do those things! Except, now here we are, in a leadership position making the same mistakes and wondering why employee moral seems low. Luckily, you can choose to be a more Mindful Leader. Mindful work environments have to start at the top and trickle down.
Here are 5 small things you can do as a leader that can make a big impact on company moral.
1) Schedule those late night emails:
I am going to give you the benefit of the doubt that you are a leader that respects employees personal time. Just because YOU are up late working on a project or finishing up emails doesn't mean that your employees inboxes should be filling up at 9PM. You remember the days that whenever you would get an email from your boss, you wanted to respond right away to prove that you were a hardworking and loyal employee. You were also annoyed at the same time because you just wanted to be home relaxing! Here is an easy rule of thumb...if you didn't like when it was done to you, don't do it to those under you.
2) Encourage use of Vacation Days:
I once had a boss who always encouraged us to use our vacation days! It was easy to not feel guilty about Vacation because he lead by example and always took his. He even did a great job about honoring boundaries and not checking in much while he was on vacation. His response when people said "I don't have the budget to go anywhere" or "I have nothing to do" was THATS FINE BUT JUST DON'T COME HERE THAT DAY.
3) Give Recognition:
In this post pandemic world we are living in where the labor shortage is sky high and most people are doing double or triple the work they did beforehand, now more then ever it is important for people to be seen and recognition given for all of their hard work. (Compensation for their hard work would be even more appreciated.) So don't underestimate how far a few kinds words can go.
4) Death by Meetings:
Whether you are back in the office full time, virtual, or a hybrid of both....meetings seem to be spilling over on everyone's calendars. Meeting Fatigue, Zoom Fatigue etc is a real thing. Be mindful of how many meetings are on the books or taking place in a single day. Encourage buffer times in between meetings to allow people to rest and reset or at the very least simply go to the bathroom or get a drink of water. Some companies are even implementing NO MEETING DAYS so that way people have time to do what they need to do without interruption during the day. If that is not possible for your company maybe you can have a day where meetings are minimized or set a hard rule that no meetings are to be scheduled during lunch time.
5) Give permission for Self-Care:
Let your employees know that they have permission to take a quick break to step outside for fresh air or a few minutes in a quiet space to decompress or whatever it is that they might need. The best way for you to lead by example is to allow yourself the permission to partake as well. Just because your are in a position of leadership does not exempt you from human emotions and the need to feel.
Life is hard already. Let's make going to work a place that people look forward to instead of a place they dread. When people feel they are making a difference and are impactful then it becomes more then just a paycheck. They become invested in the success of themselves, their peers, and the company.
If you are interested in a Mindfulness in the Workplace Workshop for your Company or Team please email: firstname.lastname@example.org