“Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the figure of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” -Franklin D. Roosevelt
I know you are probably sick of hearing these words, but going on a year-long global pandemic, we are truly living in unprecedented times. Combined with exploding social justice issues and record-high political divides, 2020 has certainly been a year for the history books. But, in the midst of all this chaos, it is more important than ever to be kind to one another. Many of us have enjoyed reconnecting with friends and family over zoom, doing kind deeds for our neighbors, and supporting our local businesses. These are all acts of kindness in their own unique way.
One form of kindness we rarely think about is kindness from our employers. As businesses laid off or furloughed employees, closed offices, and sent people to work from home, the workday changed for many of us in an instant. Software like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and others took place of in-person meetings and reserving conference rooms. Parents are working from home, while also serving as primary daycare provider and homeschool teacher to their children, making flexible schedules more important than ever.
Many businesses did a fantastic job of showing kindness. They worked hard to make their employees feel safe, gave them time off for their health, invested in technology that allowed them to work from home, got creative on finding ways to keep them busy and on-staff so they could continue receiving a paycheck, and so, so much more. There is no question many of these changes will not go back to “normal” for a long time, if they ever do. But many employers are committed to showing kindness to their employees whether they are in the office or not.
It is already being spread around LinkedIn and in recruiting conversations that future hires will certainly look back at 2020 one day and ask how employers responded to COVID-19. Were they compassionate, flexible, and kind? Or did they focus only on the business, not the people who make it run?
By Emily Vondrak
Sioux City Growth Organization welcomes progressive and innovative ideas. As a group, we work to put these ideas into action and build the momentum to take Sioux City into the future.