Compassion as a Compass: How SuperStaff Navigates the Challenges of Leading in the New Normal
We take care of our people so they can take care of our clients.
This principle is always at the core of everything we do here at SuperStaff. As the COVID-19 hands us the toughest tests so far, we recognize the importance of upholding that same principle more than ever.
Additionally, SuperStaff believes that COVID-19 calls for a new kind of leadership—one that requires being more grounded and compassionate. After all, at SuperStaff, we all look out for each other as one family.
To show you what leading in the new normal is, our Team Leaders share their experiences and best practices in this article. Their stories will surely empower anyone to rise to the challenges affecting each others’ work lives in the time of the pandemic.
How SuperStaff Responds to COVID-19’s Call for Compassionate Leadership
We Uphold Empathy by Seeing Through the Lens of Our People
Now more than ever, empathy is needed in the workplace. People are dealing with a lot of things that bring tremendous fear and anxiety. At SuperStaff, we keep ourselves attuned to the struggles that our people experience. This initiative helps us provide them with the support they need.
Out of necessity, some of our colleagues swiftly transitioned to remote and blended work. Even if most were already able to adjust, many factors outside one’s full control could make everyday work challenging.
For those who work at home, ISP issues remain a major challenge. They are also prone to burnout since their everyday routine and environment are the same. On the other hand, those who report to work on-site find the daily commute a struggle due to limited transportation, especially during curfew hours. The risk of catching the virus also adds mental and emotional exhaustion.
SuperStaff takes the responsibility of taking the health and well-being of our people seriously. While we maintain business continuity, we prioritize the welfare of our people above all else.
We adhere to the government’s basic safety and health protocols and take proactive measures to prevent disease transmission in the workplace. When feasible, SuperStaff employs flexible and alternative work arrangements on a rotation basis. Those who report to the office undergo regular antigen testing shouldered by the company.
SuperStaff also understands how lack of social interaction and other pandemic-related concerns affect one’s psychosocial health. As such, we do our best to help increase our people’s mental and emotional resilience—from spearheading programs that promote meaningful group interactions to encouraging open communication.
All these efforts paid off as we witnessed our people stay productive and cooperative amid the challenges. Estelito Quiogue, one of our team leaders for client support, pointed out that:
“As long as they feel and see a mutual effort and support from the management team, our agents will perform anywhere, regardless of the situation.”
We Foster Open, Transparent, and Constant Communication
Timely, open, and honest communication is imperative for building trust and collaboration, especially in times of uncertainty.
When the pandemic was declared early last year, SuperStaff made sure to keep our people in the loop of our business continuity plans. We also see to it that they get clear directions whenever we have to adjust policies according to government regulations or as needed to ensure everyone’s safety.
Compassionate leadership is also about creating a safe space for authentic communication, where everyone’s concerns, anxieties, and even sudden bursts of emotions are acknowledged and addressed. For some of our team leads, putting this principle into practice comes surprisingly easy.
They shared that personally going through the challenges that their members experience helps them keep an open ear and mind. They also noted that as they express genuine concern, their team members reciprocate and respond positively—even when they have to tackle difficult conversations, such as disciplinary sanctions and performance improvement measures.
We Practice Self-Compassion
As the saying goes, you cannot pour out of an empty cup. When you’re compassionate with yourself, it’s easier to be more compassionate with others.
At SuperStaff, we are big on self-care. We understand how stretching ourselves too thin will put us out of touch with our own humanity and make it harder to empathize with others. Even as our leads take responsibility for all their members, they practice self-care by attending to their needs, making time for the things they enjoy, and asking for support when needed.
Princess Anne Acopiado, one of our logistic support team leaders, shared an interesting and helpful insight:
“I became creative lately in ensuring that I take care of myself since the pandemic does not let us do too much outside. I focus more on my mental health. The newest recreational activity that I adopted is gardening. I was really surprised how it takes my mind off things, especially the worries we encounter for being human.
Gardening helps me stay patient and remember that things take time. I’m really surprised to say that it calms me more than ever. It also trains me in important leadership traits, such as being responsible and compassionate.”
We Maintain a Positive Outlook
People look up to leaders for inspiration and direction. But as humans, it is hard to stay positive all the time, especially in the midst of a crisis as big as the ongoing pandemic.
Learning to see things from a different perspective is a great way to gain much-needed inspiration and motivation. Even as the pandemic disrupted our work lives and made fulfilling leadership functions more challenging, it also has its upsides.
Our leads and team members have developed resilience throughout the pandemic. Collectively, we became flexible in adjusting to every given situation. Additionally, we became more proactive in seeking and following instructions to ensure everyone’s safety.
Teamwork has also been more evident on all levels. For instance, some of our colleagues who own private vehicles ride with their teammates so all of them can get to the office safely and on time.
Lastly, we have seen how our members have become more appreciative of the relationships they formed at work, particularly those who work remotely. To help such a healthy dynamic flourish, our team leaders allot time for the members to catch up with each other during virtual meetings. Even a couple of minutes of chit-chat with one another helps everyone stay connected and engaged.
It All Boils Down to One Thing
Leadership is first and foremost relational. Many books, articles, and other resources have tried to formulate the ideal leadership strategies. But the most impactful is the one that we all innately need as humans: kindness. Remember to practice kindness and compassion in all situations and watch how your team responds.
Princess puts it succinctly when she said this:
“I believe that what we do towards others will bounce back to us tenfold, so whenever we can help, let’s do it not just because it is our job but because we care for them. Let’s be more understanding while helping our company reach its vision.”