Communicate

Achieving the elusive balance between work and the rest of your life is a challenge we all struggle with from time to time, and while it continues to be a challenge for busy business leaders, there are a few people out there who are getting it right.

Former NFL player and CEO of HR tech company Workforce Software Mike Morini is one of those people. His company ranks among the top 15 companies with the best work-life balance according to Comparably, a platform that provides culture and compensation data for public and private companies.

How do they do it? With the pandemic causing more people to struggle with the appropriate work-life balance, Mr Morini tells Business Insider that investing in policies and benefits to help employees overcome these difficulties is key but encouraging them to open up about it when they’re feeling the pressure is the first step. Here are his two top tips to encourage employees to communicate.

Listen and understand

Emphasising the importance of emotional intelligence among leaders, Mr Morini notes that listening and understanding employees’ problem areas is the first step. “I think a big part of having emotional intelligence as a leader is understanding what play a certain situation – or your audience needs. There are various ways to deliver a message, but how you do it is important,” he says.

Making employees feel heard is a skill that great leaders must possess, the CEO continues, advocating for giving constructive feedback, following up and checking in with staff after meetings. “Try to look at the situation from their lens,” he advised, noting “you can build your situational awareness that way.”

Be honest

The CEO’s second piece of advice is to be honest with your employees about the situation you’re in – if you’re struggling too, they’ll understand that you’re all in the same boat. Having open conversations and being transparent about the challenges you face helps employees feel comfortable communicating with you, he advises.

Referencing the struggles everyone is currently feeling due to COVID-19, the CEO affirms that leaders should be honest about not having all the answers – after all, no one has experience tackling a global pandemic!

“I said we were going to do everything we can to make sure this company that we spent years building stays intact, and that’s exactly what we did,” he concludes.

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