INSPIRED: Ilaria Alleva

June 26, 2020
  • Bob Chapman
  • Bob Chapman
    CEO & Chairman of Barry-Wehmiller
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Our new episode of our video series, INSPIRED, features Ilaria Alleva, a project leader with our corporate People Team in Nottingham, UK. You can watch through the link above.

In it, Ilaria talks about her decision to leave the company she was with prior to Barry-Wehmiller.

The environment and the atmosphere was just not right for me. Everyone used to tell me, ‘No, you must be satisfied and you cannot change because you already have a really good job… why do you want more?’

Fortunately for us, Ilaria decided she wasn’t satisfied and wanted more. We were happy to welcome her into our family for her to share her gifts with us.

And Ilaria should have wanted more. She should have wanted meaningful and fulfilling work. She should have wanted to work for a company that cares about her.

The last few months have been a test for many organizations. Not only in how they have handled the financial realities, but how they have treated their team members as a result. The stress and uncertainty of this time has weighed heavily on everyone.

During the current COVID-19 pandemic, how has your organization responded? Do you feel valued? Do you feel like they care about you? If you are a leader, how have you treated those within your span of care?

Over the last couple of weeks, we have held several virtual listening sessions throughout Barry-Wehmiller. So far, the feedback has been very positive on how we have handled the crisis, which has made me very proud.

Harvard Business Review is reporting that businesses are getting high marks from their people in feeling cared for amidst the crisis, however, before the pandemic statistics generally showed that 33% of people don’t believe their company cares about them.

Isn’t it sad that it takes a worldwide crisis for companies to show their care? My hope is that this experience has been a wake-up call and caring will become the “new normal” in our workplaces.

Feeling valued and cared for by our leaders affects more than our performance at work. It can affect the entirety of our lives.

So many times, I’ve written about the link between leadership and wellbeing. Ilaria knew her former work situation wasn’t right for her and she made a change to seek out a company that cares.

A recent article from Gallup echoed what we have been saying, but in the light of the current COVID-19 pandemic. They make the point that this crisis should cause companies to rethink how they value wellbeing:

COVID-19 is waking the world up to a new reality: Individuals and organizations need a clearer outlook on wellbeing. Leader-employee partnerships that focus on wellbeing would achieve better outcomes for individuals and sustain high performance for companies… The workplace influences every element of wellbeing. And organizations that believe hiring a person means hiring the whole person are poised for better, stronger partnerships with employees.

COVID-19 has called the world to embark on a new journey. A journey focused on wellbeing. If leaders effectively redefine their partnerships with employees, the post-pandemic world will sustain high performance like never before. People will look at their places of work as places of wellbeing like never before. And the world can be like it never was before. It can be much better -- full of people with thriving wellbeing.

We should recognize that the people within our span of care are not numbers on a spreadsheet that equate to profit and loss, but someone’s precious children and they should be treated accordingly. We should recognize that the people within our span of care are not just functions, but whole beings who are capable of so much more than the role into which they are pigeonholed.

There are many ways this crisis has created a “new normal.” Let your “new normal” be leading with care.

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