Do you genuinely care? When was the last time you showed genuine care for the people around you?
In this article we will look into genuine care and how it benefits the team in the workplace setting.
But first, definition of terms.
Genuine is authentic, it is true and sincere. It is the opposite of the word bogus.
Care as a verb means to feel concern or interest; attach importance to something and look after and provide for the needs of others. It is the opposite of neglect.
In 2012 I had a surgery for a cyst removal. It was thankfully benign. On my first day back in the office, Patita Estaniel, an HR Lead, approached me, asked how I’m doing and spent some time with me. It was not work related, lasted only a few minutes but I felt her concern and sincerity.
When I was pregnant, I ate a lot. It was like eating unhealthy snacks the entire day for 10 people. One time, my then-boss, Marc Salarda, stopped by my work area, caught me eating of course and said in her usual high energy, “Emile, stop eating. Stop eating. That’s not good for you nor your baby. Stop it!” It only took a few seconds of her time, but personally that reminder made me feel more valued as an individual.
Recently, one of my teammates called out the other for always eating lunch straight from the can; in another instance he was called out for always eating sausages – yes, KL Fernando, Kaloy Sison and Arjay Roberto, if you are reading this, that’s the three of you! Non-work, over lunch, but made the person feel cared for by his teammates.
You see, genuinely caring for your teammates is not in the goals, it is usually not in the business strategy and definitely not a key component of performance appraisal and not a factor for getting an increase.
Yet, this is very crucial when it comes to team engagement. It touches not only the needs of an employee as a worker, but as a human being. It’s that basic and it’s that important!
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
One of the the most popular Psychological theories is Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. This theory puts forward that love/belonging is at the 3rd stage of this hierarchy. The figure below shows this model. The goal is to attain the 5th stage which is self-actualization. This means, too, that the most fundamental and basic needs must be met first before an individual would strongly desire the higher level needs.
Genuine care. It is important for our employees (everyone in your team) to also feel cared for, loved, and the feeling that they belong. It makes them feel more engaged and this state helps employees contribute more and be more.
How To Genuinely Care In The Workplace?
Very simple, really. Just look at the employee and see the person within. Easier said than done? Some of you are masters of this already. But for those who are new to leadership (note that you don’t have to be a leader to practice this, ok?), here are some tips to get you started:
- Ask about their weekend. I did this once, just because my then-teammate was very and unusually quite. Turned out they brought a friend to a psychiatric facility due to attempted suicide! See, it can get really interesting, but the best part, she was able to unburden and we had more stories to share the following days.
- Ask about what their passion – sports? business? k-pop? It may not be your areas of interests, but it isn’t about you, it’s about them.
- Ask about their family. This one is a very nice gesture and most people always wants to talk about their family.
- Ask about their childhood dreams and aspirations. You won’t believe where this conversation will take you!
- Ask about their plans for the next 10 or 20 years. Okay, depending on their age maybe? But, who knows, life expectancy can reach and be over a hundred!
- Check-in on their health. Hopefully, on a good note. Remember too, that health is not just physical. See also the article which I co-wrote with Vic Flauta on Mental Health Awareness.
- Check-in on their personal projects. Note, it should always be in a caring way, not in a nosy kind of way.
- Compliment them on whatever it is that is nice and new or both in them. It always cheers people up.
- Check-in on them when the weather is really bad. Our lead once sent us a text message during a very heavy typhoon not about work or our deliverable but to check-in on our condition. The next day, we all talked about it and how we appreciated the gesture.
- Share something about yourself. Sometimes it helps them open up, too.
The topics are endless when you want to care for those around you. Sometimes it only takes one sincere gesture, one simple caring act, one sincere talk, for the caring atmosphere to roll and resonate in the team. Make it a habit.
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