It’s Independence Day weekend here in the United States. On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress declared that the American colonies were united, free, and independent states. I’m sure every country has their own version of our Independence Day, where they celebrate their own unique history. It’s a reminder that even with all of our faults, the success of our country lies with our people.
This Time Well Spent cartoon from our friends at Kronos reminded me that companies celebrate too. They celebrate when the organization was founded. They celebrate when new employees arrive. And they realize that the success of the company is in the talent they surround themselves with.
When one person is missing, the whole team is impacted. We already knew this. The cartoon makes light of the last person in the message calling out sick. And of course, it impacts the entire message. But sometimes we forget that something as small as a person showing up 5-10 minutes late can impact the entire team. Organizations need to make sure employees understand how their actions affect everyone.
Help employees establish priorities. Our lives are filled with competing priorities. It’s important for individuals to understand how to prioritize. Because sometimes the top priority isn’t obvious. If companies are concerned that employees don’t know what the most pressing task is…then tell them. It doesn’t have to be communicated in a condescending way. Just let employees know that the specific task has moved up to priority number one.
Having a backup plan is essential. When high-profile activities happen, organizations should have a backup plan in place. People do get sick. Emergencies happen. It’s worth taking a few moments to think about the challenges that can happen and how they should be handled. It also helps employees immediately pivot in a new direction. If an employee calls in sick (like in the cartoon), then there’s someone else to take their place. Or maybe one person carries two signs.
Companies and employees should work together to make the organization successful. The way that happens is by organizations building a company culture that encourages teamwork and collaboration. For employees, it’s understanding how their role helps the organization, prioritizing their work, and being prepared to change with all of the shifting priorities. Together, organizations and employees can build their own future.13