You’ve heard of the sandwich generation, right? It’s people, mostly women, who are raising kids while also taking care of their parents—the quintessential “stuck in the middle” situation. As a manager, you are the workplace version of the sandwich: C-suite above, with its expectations of productivity, and frontline employees behind you, needing and expecting leadership. Most days, you probably feel the squeeze.
What’s a sandwich to do? Caught in the middle, losing people at warp speed while trying to keep the department going, where do you even begin? True organizational transformation always begins at the top, but how can a manager influence change in the C-suite?
Pretty simple—you start with yourself, and then your team. You may not be comfortable putting yourself first in any realm of your life (especially work), but this is the key. If you skip or miss this step, not only may employees continue to leave and burn out, but you could be on that road as well. Your delicate balancing act keeps the lights on and the services running; you are the engine that drives the programs and mission, so your tank must be full.
Wellbeing begins here, with you. The first step is to use our Soar with Self-Care Toolkit. For today, that’s all you need to do. Check out the toolkit, read the table of contents, and pick one thing to try. (We’re partial to “Playfulness and Wellbeing”—when was the last time you really had fun?) One small step toward your personal wellbeing is a giant leap for your organization.
As for your team, those frontline folks trying to make miracles happen, there are small, immediate, uplifting actions you can put into practice immediately. Want to try one thing today to infuse some wellbeing into your people? Pick something:
- End a meeting five minutes early so people can take a break.
- Ask someone how they’re doing, and listen wholeheartedly.
- Start your next staff meeting with a minute of mindfulness.
- End the week with a gratitude email to your staff.
Remember, we can do hard things. Lean into it and take the next step on the path to doing well and being well. Be the change you seek and take care of yourself.