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Posted April 17, 2020 by John Spence

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Many of my trainings with organizations on culture and employee engagement contain six tenants I consider to be universally critical. In today’s shifting landscape, they have become more relevant than ever.

For your teams to be at their best, lead your teams with your best. Invest like never before to help nurture and grow with your employees.

1. Safety

People need to feel emotionally, physically, and psychologically safe. They want to know that they will not be emotionally attacked or dismissed for their feelings, that physically they’re not exposed to anything that could hurt them, that psychologically their ideas are safe, and that if they toss up a “crazy” idea that they will not be ridiculed.

2. Stability

Stability has always been important, but now it is dramatically magnified. We all need to feel that our jobs, our income, and personal lives are on an even keel and not threatened. It is incredibly hard to offer this to people today so you have to find someplace you can give a sense of stability even if it is just your emotional support.

3. Belongingness

We all want to feel we are important members of our organizations and that our colleagues and superiors are glad we are on the team. This is especially true now that most of us are physically separated from the rest of the company. This can lead to feelings of isolation and many miss the comradery and collaboration they are used to. This is why regular check-ins, short meetings, and virtual get-togethers are so important to help people feel connected, appreciated for their work, and valued as part of the team.

4. Appreciation

Celebrate every win, big or small. Let everyone, everyone… know they are genuinely appreciated for the work they do and the results they deliver in challenging times and environments. They are needed; what they bring to the organization is vital as employees and as individuals. Research clearly shows we all need some sort of genuine, sincere, and specific praise once every seven to ten days. Now, I suggest even more frequently in one form or another.

5. Communication

Communication is consistently one of the biggest issues for almost every organization I work with. Now, it is more critical than ever to overcommunicate your vision, mission, goals, and plans. Be transparent and share as much information as you possibly can, assure your people that you are working hard to stay on top of the situation and are doing everything in your power to keep the business strong.

6. Purpose

To keep your valued employees of the organization motivated and feeling secure; remind them often of those you serve, the impact they make, and why your organization is committed to serving your customers, your employees, and communities. We are all doing important work that makes a real difference and the ripples go far beyond what we expect.

Why Do These Matter?

It is essential that you and your team produce some of the best work–especially in difficult times–as at the end of the day, your product/service is what’s going to matter to your clients. By investing in your employees with these six items, you build an invaluable trust. This kind of trusting relationship goes beyond your employees too. In difficult times, you want to be an invaluable partner for your clients, your vendors, and beyond.

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