Make Space For Your Employees, Not Self-Care Regimens

Many of us were waiting for pandemic-related stress and anxiety to subside by now, mid-2022, but things don’t feel quite back to normal. The daily news of the war in Ukraine, domestic terrorism, inflation and skyrocketing gas prices (to name a few) weigh heavy in our minds.

While talk about self-care practices in the office and at home became commonplace shortly after the start of the pandemic, it’s become clear that many companies’ approaches to personal care over the last couple of years have been largely unhelpful and sometimes quite invasive of personal privacy. Yes, we’re feeling the stress over the news and the ongoing pandemic, but it’s time for employers to provide their teams with the tools they need to practice personal care without overstepping boundaries or prescribing a regimen.

Actions speak louder than words and companies need to provide good health benefits, manageable workloads, and enough time off for their teams to feel some flexibility and freedom. Moreover, company culture needs to align with values that make space for healthy practices and communication among everyone in the workplace. This includes showing empathy and being welcoming of our own and others’ mistakes while avoiding toxic positivity.

Make Space for Time Away

When those moments of exhaustion or under-inspiration hit us at work, it’s not always at the most convenient times. It’s common to feel a little burnout at the end of the week, but this feeling isn’t confined to Friday at 5:00. Maybe it’s a Tuesday, late morning, when we feel like any tasks we attempt aren’t quite up to our normal standards. At that point, maybe it’s time to step away, do something else, reset, and try again tomorrow.

As the CEO of Clear Strategy Partners, I know when I need to take personal days and I encourage our employees to do the same. It’s important for me to be able to do that for myself and, when I founded this company, I wanted to make sure our employees felt like they had the flexibility to do the same.

The benefits that we offer at Clear Strategy Partners reflect the fact that we value having the opportunity to check out and take time off when we need it. We employ a small team of intelligent and responsible professionals, and I don’t worry about them taking advantage of the flexibility that comes with working a fully remote full-time job with excellent benefits. I know that at the end of the day, our employees can better support the company and their teammates when they’re healthier and happier. Having time off is an essential component here and allows our employees to do whatever they need to do to recharge.

Make Room for Trial and Error, Avoid Toxic Positivity

Whether it’s part of their daily practice or just during highly stressful periods, sometimes employers practice toxic positivity. This is showing extreme positivity in both words and actions that ultimately cover up real problems that need attention and resolution.

Toxic positivity makes others feel unwelcome to share feelings, ideas, or pressing matters that may lack the same level of cheer or encouraging sentiments. When employers push their toxic positivity on others at work, problems go unaddressed, fester, and cause irreparable damage to company culture, productivity, and employee well-being. Experts argue that, instead of trying to keep the mood light and carefree with an idealist facade of positivity, employers listen to feedback, embrace empathy, and be ready to have difficult conversations.

At Clear Strategy Partners, we hold meetings twice a week with the whole team as well as one-on-one or small group meetings by request. In addition to holding each other accountable and fostering our growing company culture of collaborative work, these meetings give anyone the chance to bring any issues to our attention in a judgment-free zone. We also practice radical candor, where we speak truth that is sometimes difficult, but do so with knowledge that our goal is to find the best path forward for all those involved. This requires a trust relationship built with every decision and internal action.

Companies need to lean into problem-solving and make room for trial and error. Instead of passing blame to others when something inevitably goes awry, we should be solution-seekers who understand the peaks and valleys of creative and meaningful progress.

An Insider’s Look at Clear Strategy Partners

As part of an ongoing series, I’ll be including feature stories and articles that highlight the unique contributions and perspectives of members of the Clear Strategy Partners team. We’ll learn more about who they are, what they do, and how they feel about company culture, problem-solving, seeking and receiving feedback, and more.

My hope is that by offering you some insight into how we work, our values, and what we enjoy about life, you’ll have a better understanding why Clear Strategy Partners is such a valuable part of our clients’ teams.
Andy Hallmark
CEO, Clear Strategy Partners
Working with a great group of communications professionals to translate challenging topics for our clients’ audiences. We get to figure out this puzzle every day and it is rewarding to be part of a firm that cares about finding communications solutions that are honest and compelling.