“My team needs more than a few weeks of notice before they come back to the office”

Today, I am sharing the story of one of my clients – a brave leader with a large team who fiercely advocated for his team in the transition back to the office demonstrating empathy and care in his leadership. 

Full disclaimer – This post is not about debating hybrid and remote work policies but more to call out the powerful leadership this human demonstrated.

As most companies have been designing their return to work strategies, my client’s organization came up with a policy to bring all employees back to their corporate offices and gave employees 4 weeks to come back to the office regardless of their personal situation. 

This leader knew that a one size fits all approach wouldn’t work for every individual on his 200-person team. During the pandemic, many had moved out of their primary location where the offices were based. Some had relocated to take care of aging parents, many had young kids, and sorting through childcare and schools with a few weeks of notice wouldn’t work for them even if they were deeply committed to physically being in the office. 

He was brave and went to the C suite and HR to advocate for his team. He wasn’t opposed to coming back to the office but wanted his team to have more time, especially those who had physically relocated to move back and return to the office while ensuring their personal needs could also be accounted for. It wasn’t easy but he ultimately created change and was able to be a true “people first” leader within the organization. 

He was then rightfully recognized when the organization saw a difference in attrition across teams and it was clear that the way different executives managed the return to the office on their teams impacted employee engagement and retention. 

I was so inspired when he shared this story with me. It demonstrates how business results and human care are not mutually exclusive but rather an empathetic and compassionate leadership strategy actually drives business results in the long run. And that, it always takes courage to ask a hard question, take a stand for what matters and that leading with your values isn’t always easy but often deeply important and impactful.

Over to you, think about where can you take a stand and speak up for what matters – at work, in your community, or at home. 

If you are looking to develop more of your people skills while delivering solid business results and would like to explore working with a coach, please send me a DM. I’d love to learn more about your goals and aspirations.

And speaking of leadership, here is a book recommendation – 15 commitments of conscious leadership, it’s a beautiful book that will inspire you to lead with your values, deeper self-awareness, and bring out the best in those around you. Their blog is fantastic and they have some incredible short bite-sized videos that will truly make you rethink and re-examine how you lead yourself and others.

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