Any article that promises to give you all the answers to managing your team through the kinds of events that happened on 6 January 2021 is almost certainly lying.
Kommon is not an American company, and we don’t currently have any American employees but nonetheless the shocking events of last week caused pretty much all work to stop as we tried to process what was happening. We can only imagine how Americans of all different backgrounds felt.
The most important lessons from 6 January won’t be learned in the workplace (or something’s gone even more wrong). However, at times of significant upheaval and trauma in people’s lives, employers and particularly managers, are amongst those who can have the most immediate impact - for better and for worse. So whilst we won’t claim to have all the answers, we’ve been following some of the advice to managers which has been circulating over the past few days, and accounts from those at work, and we wanted to share some of it. Hopefully in a small way, it may help you and your team prepare for and process the next crisis, whatever that might be.
We’ll actually start at the company level. Mainly because a supportive organisational environment can significantly alter the type of role that a manager has to play. To look at the range of responses on the day, we’ll turn to Angelique Weger, a Senior Software Engineer from Baltimore who has been cataloguing different companies’ actions. She found everything from this:
To less positive stories:
From reading through individuals’ reactions, we get some insight into what employees appreciate at times like this:
Now for the manager. As you can probably see, if your employer doesn’t do any of the above, a lot of that burden falls on the manager instead and you need to start from the top. However, assuming these things are done, as a manager you can assume a more tactical role, which means:
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We’ve compiled a list of questions you can ask your managers and team members to identify the challenges they face, and help you pick the right solutions.