Below are some thoughts on what bosses and employees can do now to increase their value in a post-pandemic job market. A version of this article originally appeared as part of a news release.
“I learned long ago that treating others with the utmost respect and kindness is a key to success and makes life more harmonious for everyone.”
— Kevin Guest
With coronavirus vaccinations imminent, many U.S. workers suffering from pandemic anxiety want to better secure their employment when the pandemic ends. However, studies show job security and financial concerns are the significant predictors associated with anxiety and depression.
To confront anxiety, answers lie in what bosses and employees can do now.
Bosses have a profound effect on the morale and calm environment for employees. Recent studies show a boss’ servant leadership style makes it easier for employees to deal with anxiety related to the coronavirus pandemic.
Research published in the Journal of Applied Psychology concluded employees work better if bosses acknowledge employees’ emotional suffering, work to empower employees, and emphasize serving in the community.
3 Tips Post-Pandemic
Here are three things I believe workers — and bosses — can do now for a better post-pandemic future:
- Build on the power of relationships
- Prepare now to improve valuable skills
- Never give up in striving to achieve your goal
No. 1: Build on Relationships
Wherever I speak, people have said the Dorothy Principle I cite in my book, All the Right Reasons, has made an instant impact on their lives because it illustrates that knowing others’ names, such as a cleaning lady named Dorothy, can lift self-esteem. I learned long ago that treating others with the utmost respect and kindness is a key to success and makes life more harmonious for everyone.
No. 2: Improve Valuable Skills
Improving work skills is perhaps never more important than now. Many years ago, Styx’s Tommy Shaw inspired me, who sang and played guitar anywhere he could — even in bowling alleys and nightclubs.
When Tommy Shaw was playing in an Alabama bowling alley bar, the band Styx was frantically searching for a lead vocalist. Someone influential with Styx had heard Tommy sing in Chicago and thought he might be a good fit. They listened to his demo tape and were impressed with his vocal range. They changed Tommy’s life forever when they invited him to join Styx, a global powerhouse in the music world.
What if Tommy hadn’t been ready when Styx called? That level of preparation is what we all must do now to make ourselves more valuable to our employers and future employers.
No. 3: Never Give Up
A 22-year-old Rwandan woman hunted by killers illustrates my third recommendation.
After Rwanda’s genocide in 1994, Hutu fighters hunted Immaculee Ilibagiza, who fled for protection. However, even with killers outside her window calling her name, she stayed positive. Ultimately, she was rescued, traveled to Rwanda’s capital, and applied for a United Nations job for weeks with no luck.
Convincing herself she could master English, which would increase employment opportunities, Immaculee hand-drew a computer keyboard on cardboard and spent hours learning how to type. With determination to learn English, countless attempts to get the U.N. job, and positive self-talk, she was eventually hired.
It’s that level of persistence and positive self-talk that can carry us to higher ground. These traits can help us plow through any obstacle — even this pandemic. Not once did Immaculee tell herself she couldn’t do it, even though everything she learned was new and difficult.
These patterns of behavior can make us all better prepared to endure to the end of the current pandemic. They can also prepare ourselves for a solid future post-pandemic with higher levels of harmony.
All the Right Reasons: 12 Timeless Principles for Living a Life in Harmony is available on Amazon. All proceeds feed hungry children, with each book purchase providing 40 meals. A version of this article originally appeared as part of a news release.