Daniela Micusan, Country Head, Majorel Romania: Wellbeing leadership is about putting more emphasis on qualities such as empathy, vulnerability, reliability and flexibility
The COVID-19 pandemic shook the business world to the point where leaders must adapt their teams and businesses to keep the pace with the new reality and thrive. But this crisis has also offered us, leaders numerous learning opportunities. What I have seen and learned is that those teams who have been able to survive are those that are being led by the leaders who prioritize their people. I am proud to say that, even before the pandemic, our people have always been at the center of our business.
The shift of leadership role in 2021
In this new reality, we have all faced the challenge of navigating a hybrid work model and keeping our teams engaged while working towards our goals. We have successfully overcome this obstacle by adapting our business and our work environment. I would highlight the role of our Feel Good Program in this success. It is our global well-being and engagement framework which is already rolled-out and successfully put into force in many of our sites around the world. No matter working from home or in the office, this program enables our employees to be engaged, to contribute to shaping their workplace based on their needs and wishes and overall, Feel Good at Majorel.
To underline, we should address the aspects of wellbeing leadership and by saying this, I mean putting more emphasis on leadership qualities such as empathy, vulnerability, reliability, and flexibility. Indeed, these qualities have always been important, but now they are a must. Within my team, I always try to cultivate and spread transparency and reliability, so important especially in these times of uncertainty. Since my team is so large, currently 1700 people in multiple accounts, I strongly encourage the formation of communities. And I also feel part of them. Together we give birth to and nourish our communities that are all so different and unique, yet part of #OneMajorel family.
Building the relevant culture for remote teams
I think, engagement and inclusion are two major words addressing this aspect. To build a strong and right culture within employees working remotely, what’s the most important is to make them all feel constantly supported. Regular exchange of ideas and communication are something we encourage. Our management is always there to give a helping hand and support when needed. On top of this, to keep our inclusiveness alive, we have numerous engagement initiatives within the Feel Good Program. We have adapted the Program to remote work and most of the activities are held online. Nowadays, our home offices are cheered up with lots of fun and interesting initiatives, such as Majorel Life Hacks Academy, an event series, where we help our employees discover little tricks that make their life easier, wellbeing contests, focusing on health & entertainment, engagement initiatives and CSR activities.
Practicing the change in mindsets
The global pandemic and lockdowns have brought fundamental changes in the working life of practically every person. But it has also resulted in a significant mind shifts which we, as leaders should not leave unnoticed. I think nowadays, focusing on the mental health of our people is the key. Good leaders should not only ensure and sustain physical health of their employees, but also care for their mental health, as these two are equally important. The right approach to the change in mindsets, from the perspective of a leader is to be more empathetic and compassionate, always trying to understand what your employees are going through and how to support them in their journeys. A good leader should be mindful, thoughtful and also a good listener to make sure each and every member of a team feel equally embraced and included.
Tackling the Individual Empowerment
Within Majorel in Romania and beyond globally, we try to empower individuals to have an active say in shaping their workplaces according to their needs, goals and wishes. We achieve this through our global Feel Good Program which is tailored to local needs. Our employees, along with the Feel Good Community Ambassadors come up with different engagement and well-being initiatives to reinvent our workplace in accordance with their ideas and visions. We believe, that each and every member of our big community is a valuable asset to our organization. Together we ensure that all opinions are heard, addressed and validated. At the end of the day, our example proves the point that the companies that promote employee empowerment are simply performing better than those that don’t.
To understand and apply the Empathetic Leadership
It’s critical for our company to have such people in leadership who are capable of breaking traditional management strategies and going beyond. To be an empathic leader, one should be mindful and inclusive of the other people’s thoughts and feelings. I believe this is what empathetic leadership implies – the ability to put yourself in the other person’s shoes and leading people while taking into consideration their contexts, experiences and needs that are all so different. It is such a vital quality nowadays, especially for the company like ours which is world-wide known for its diversity. We have employees from different social, financial and cultural backgrounds who are all unique in their best ways. The ability to demonstrate empathy and consideration in the workplace is a key quality which helps us create bonds of trust and respect with our teams. This brings us closer to one another as #OneTeam and further pushes us towards excellence.