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WORKSPAN
WORKSPAN DAILY |

The Mountains We Move, the Hills We Climb

“There is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it — if only we’re brave enough to be it.” — Poet Amanda Gorman, “The Hill We Climb”

Every day we leave the workplace, our work remains unfinished. We may clean out our inbox and place checks beside all the remaining items from our “to do” list. But our work remains unfinished.

We have an obligation to our employer to show up the next day and greet every new challenge with a fresh attitude. Our reputation is on the line with how we respond to every new initiative and assignment. Our fellow employees observe us. They know when we are preoccupied with daily life.

We do our best to integrate work and life, but still there never seems to be enough time to accomplish all we set out to do. It isn’t always that there aren’t enough hours in the day. It’s that the gas tank is near empty and we haven’t the time to fuel up.

Until tomorrow.

Until tomorrow.

There isn’t enough poetry in the workplace. Moreover, there isn’t enough empathy. But like all healing movements toward positive change, fostering a more benevolent workplace now has momentum on its side.

As leaders working in a digital age, we unfortunately bear witness to the demise of some of our employees through the lens of our laptops. We watch them suffer for various reasons, some because of the strains of the pandemic, others because of the trials and tribulations of life.

We’re living in a different, more complicated and transparent age. We can sense from a growing demand for DEI initiatives and policy changes that we need to step up our compassion game. But are we? Or are we too impatient and distracted, too busy to move mountains for our employees, simply by listening to them?

In his inauguration speech on Jan. 20, U.S. President Joe Biden reminded each of us to lead not by the example of power, but by the power of example.

When we notice a usually reliable employee struggling to focus, what do we do to share the burden? Do we lighten their load? Or do we expect them to keep up with the harried pace, no matter what? Do we begin excluding them from important meetings and preparing the paper trail for their exit, figuring them to be a lost cause?

Managing employees — and fully utilizing and optimizing their skill set — is not a job for the heartless and narrow minded. You may think your job is to don the corporate armor and whip them into shape with stern warnings. But it is not.

It’s OK for them to ask for help. And it’s more than OK for you to offer it.

Support of employee well-being has become as vital as poetry. As necessary as the blood running through your veins. As critical as the valve pumping in your heart.

Well-being is the lifeline that will keep this global economy humming.

If only we are brave enough to see it.

If only we are brave enough to be it.

About the Author

Dan Cafaro Bio Image

Dan Cafaro is the director of publications at WorldatWork.


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