How to Build an Organization Where People Take Care of Each Other

You might believe that taking care of each other is weak or silly. But think of the alternative.

Care is nurtured. An uncaring team is a symptom of neglect.

5 expressions of care in organizational life:

  1. Acknowledge concerns. You tell people they matter when you take to heart the things that matter to them.
  2. Respect challenges. What’s easy for you may be difficult for others.
  3. Affirm strengths. “You’re great at …,” energizes people. (Affirming someone’s strengths doesn’t cost a penny.)
  4. Expect performance. Low standards and over-protection belittle people. But when you expect people to do their best, you tell them you believe in them.
  5. Stay available. People are opportunities, not interruptions. Short, frequent interactions fuel performance.

How to take care of novices:

“The worst thing for a new employee is being wooed through the recruiting process and then arriving on the job and the receptionist isn’t even expecting you or your office isn’t set up.” (SHRM)

  1. Novices worry about fitting in. Competency is important but connecting is essential.
  2. Provide orientation and training in small doses. A day of training in procedures is a waste of time. What’s second hand to you is confusing to novices.
  3. Remember the 3:1 rule. Affirm more than you correct.

How colleagues take care of each other:

War stories make you feel understood. You need a place to brag, complain, and share ideas without judgement. A meeting agenda for managers might include:

  1. Where are you winning?
  2. What’s nagging at you?
  3. What new strategies and techniques are you trying?
  4. How could we help each other?

How to take care of leaders:

Offer input without imposing obligation. Don’t expect leaders to adopt every suggestion you make.

Share a few wins. Leaders hear problems all day. Try saying, “I just wanted you to know that (fill in the blank) is working really well.”

How might people in organizations take care of each other?

Bonus material:

5 Ways to Take Care of Each Other at Work (Playworks)

11 Simple Ways To Show Your Employees You Care (Forbes)

Employees Who Feel Love Perform Better (HBR)