Two different employers, same issue with employee’s pay. Two very different ways of handling it.
The employee’s pay didn’t hit their accounts as scheduled.
Employer A told the employee to check their account, stating it must be a problem with their bank because he was paid.
After the employee did so and no fault was found, Employer A got short and snappy telling the employee they were definitely paid, the money definitely left the business’ account, that it is automatic through their accounting software. It must just be a delay in weekend processing, they reasoned.
Employer B after hearing from one employee asked other employees if it was their experience as well, even though it didn’t happen to him. Learning it was, Employer B called an immediate all-team meeting.
Employer B apologised to all employees, even though it didn’t impact himself or most of the team. He shared compassionately with the employees that he would hate to be in their position and felt really bad that this was their experience.
Employer B explained the likely reason for the delay and asked the employees affected to patiently wait an additional day.
The employee of Employer A was left feeling like their problem wasn’t real and that they were an inconvenience to the business’ management. They felt that their employer didn’t give a shit about them or their problems.
Employees of Employer B felt reassured, heard and were happy to wait an additional day for the problem to be rectified.
In each real-life scenario, management had a responsibility to their employees to demonstrate they cared about their employee’s livelihoods. Only Employer B did this well.
This is empathy in action.
In this instance, Employer A could’ve —
1. Rung their bank to double check the transaction and its processing time
2. Immediately offered a loan to tie the employee over (not waiting to do so once the employee has experienced the manager’s frustration at the employee’s concerns)
3. Asked other team members to learn they had the experience too (this prevents the employee feeling alone & isolated, as though it was only happening to them)
4. Called a meeting to address it quickly
— then the employee wouldn’t be wondering why they weren’t important enough.
It takes no time at all to consider the feelings of another person, and it takes even less time to believe them when they tell you there’s a problem.
What takes time, which few managers do, is demonstrate they care.
To demonstrate you care there must be action.