At the Mandt system we have taught for 45 years that ‘Building Healthy Relationships’ has to be at the foundation of workplace safety. The establishment of ‘Healthy Relationships’ is supported by strategies of ‘Healthy Communication’ and ‘Healthy Conflict Resolution’, together these elements provide a ‘Mandt Foundation’ which allows individuals working and served to say ‘In this place and with these people, I feel safe’.
What the Covid-19 Pandemic serves to illustrate are the relative strengths and weaknesses of our business and service foundation, not just within the Mandt System but across our industry and the globe. Key to healthy relationships is our trust and belief that the communication we receive is authentic and intentional. How then, do our business actions in response to Covid-19 requirements, restrictions and impacts measure up?
We are increasingly becoming aware of circumstances in multiple news and media, where businesses are not following their respective State or Federal guidance and have or are putting their staff as risk or heightened exposure to serve the business need first. The practice of ‘Profit before People’ is nothing new and history serves us multiple examples we can signpost. But for those employees in businesses being operated as such, whether the risk is physical or psychological, how can they say, ‘In this place & with these people, I feel safe’?
After the pandemic is over, I believe there will be many individuals who have cause to evaluate their personal as well as professional relationships. People who will be asking themselves if during the moment of crisis their relationships, whether personal or professional, showed itself to be truly healthy. For some this will lead to a re-evaluation and may result in the relationships improving or ending as a consequence.
My goal as a leader in our business is to continually pose the questions, ‘are we putting people before profit?’ and does our communication to staff and customers meet the measures for authenticity and intentionality that line up to our stated mission and approach? I can tell you already that there are elements in the above that in hindsight we might have done better, or I wish we had done earlier. I would probably grade us at a solid B+ for Covid-19 response to date. If there is a second wave of Covid-19 later this year we will certainly be striving for an A grade.
In closing I want to clarify that I totally understand and share the need for our businesses to take the necessary steps to survive for the benefit or their owners, employees, customers, shareholders and the like. My concern is at what cost? In evaluating the measures, we have taken to keep our heads above water during the crisis, I hope that The Mandt System staff are able to say that our actions were consistent with our stated values. And as a result, the program foundation and those relationships are maintained and grow. I don’t want to be that organization that survives the pandemic but does not survive the recovery….
Simon Kemp – CEO