Skillsoft Blog

Connecting with CARE

November 8, 2021 | by Michelle Boockoff-Bajdek

It's been 606 days since we went remote. 20 months. 86 weeks. It feels like a lifetime ago. And as I've resumed in-office days, traveling on business, and attending customer meetings, I've realized how socially awkward I've become now that I'm no longer protected by my monitor.

It's hardly unexpected that all of this social distancing has caused emotional distancing.

And so, it's more important than ever to find and connect with purpose — at work, at home, and in our communities. I had the opportunity recently to host a live roundtable in conjunction with ETHRWorld on The Hybrid Work Leader: Transforming Leadership. We spent a great deal of time discussing the hybrid workplace (a new reality for many) and how leaders are navigating the challenges — physical locations, collaboration tools and tech, and employee wellbeing, to name a few.

But the biggest concern raised was that of "connection," our ability to stay connected with each other and with the purpose of our organization.

Dr. Vishwanath Joshi, Chief People Officer at Hexaware Technologies, shared a model from his Great Managers program, which was designed to build and maintain meaningful connections with his (almost) 20,000 employees across 37 global offices. He shared that the best managers are those that C.A.R.E. Connect. Aspire. Recognize. Empathize. And the most successful leaders are those that utilize this model, which focuses less on the work product and more on crafting culture, when managing their hybrid teams.

Connect. Communicate often and with purpose; find creative ways to build relationships outside of "work."

Aspire. Provide pathways for people; develop, nurture, and grow talent.

Recognize. Acknowledge and reward; even small contributions should never go unnoticed.

Empathize. People don't care what you know until they know that you care.

Finally, Dr. Vishwanath shared one other piece of advice that I wanted to offer here:

"Leadership is a dance. Sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow." And so, perhaps one of the most important takeaways from the roundtable is that we need to listen with intent and let the needs of our team members guide our thinking and our actions.

To listen to my discussion with Dr. Vishwanath and our other esteemed panelists, visit ETHRWorld.

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