Whether you’re a new or a seasoned manager, you have the power to advocate for your employee’s well-being at work. The author recommends that first-time managers take on five different roles to become an agent of change at work.
- Embracer: Know that any change is going to be uncomfortable at first, and will require a deliberate, conscious effort on your part. Start by unlearning your own biases and assumptions about other people and their needs at work.
- Investigator: Spend time understanding your company’s policies. Read up on the latest global research on best practices for employee wellbeing and engagement, and conduct your own anonymous surveys and one-on-one feedback sessions to understand what you can do better.
- Challenger: Critically assess and identify outdated processes, practices, or systems that no longer work for your team, such as inflexible working hours, poor leave policies, or the lack of psychological safety to give and receive feedback.
- Integrator: Create a transparent chain of communication between the different stakeholders — your team, HR, and leadership — since you’re in a unique position to have access to all of them.
- Advocator: Sure, you must speak up for your team. But more importantly, speak up about your own experiences. When you open up in this way, you help everyone — senior leaders, peers, and direct reports — see your “humanness.”