The recent national crisis within our communities is taking an enormous toll on first responders and their families. From a national pandemic to social unrest our personnel are facing greater challenges and a constant fear of the unknown.
Now is a time when supervisors and command staff must stand in the gap to ensure that all responders have the necessary support they need. This focus has to move beyond providing necessary equipment. What is needed now more than ever is a real sense of support from leadership. Your employees need to know that you genuinely care for their physical and emotional wellbeing. This also needs to expand to their families as well.
To Actively Care for our people, we all must make the following steps a priority:
- Empathic Listening: Pay attention with intention to help your employees navigate the current climate.
- Provide Constant Feedback: Let your personnel know you see them going the extra mile and help them with their struggles.
- Deploy Positive Consequences: This is a time when rewards and encouragement can make a tremendous difference in people.
- Establish the Platinum Rule: Treat others like they want to be treated. Become a servant leader on their behalf.
These are a few practical steps to provide an overall sense of caring for your personnel during a time of uncertainty. The current crisis has created a real need to leave our roles as typical managers and to truly embrace the needs of people through Actively Caring Leadership.
Bobby Kipper, Wall Street Journal Best-Selling Author, Director of the National Center for Prevention of Community Violence (NCPCV) and National Public Safety Trainer