Jim Rendon | March 9, 2021
“Leaders need to be vulnerable and open in ways that may make them uncomfortable,” says consultant Mary Morten. Her company has been working with leaders of several Ford Foundation grantees this past year to help them navigate the pandemic.
“You learn through professional development that you are always the strong one. You are always the one with all the answers,” she says. “It is really important for your team to understand that that may not be the case and that that’s OK. It’s not possible to be all things to all people at all times.”
To help its staff, the Ali Forney Center offered group therapy and more recently one-on-one counseling sessions. It also set up internal support groups so workers could talk with each other about the pressures they face. The organization has done what it can to encourage people to take some time off, including allowing them to roll vacation days over from last year. Given the financial strains that some are under, the center provided hazard pay to all employees through July, until it stopped getting reimbursed for it. It was able to provide increased pay for some essential employees after that.