Many working professionals spend the majority of their time at work, thinking about or worrying about work-related problems. This is just making people more and more stressed.
A way to overcome this problem and reduce people’s stress is to provide a healthy, barakah-full work environment, boosting morale, mental and psychological health. Here are 10 tips to empower and support your colleagues at work, creating synergy and empowering yourself.
1 – Be Sincere
The starting point of any action is to check your heart and intentions. Ask yourself, ‘What’s my intention? What reward do I hope for from Allah?’
“The reward of deeds depends upon the intention and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended.” -Prophet Muhammed (Sahih al Bukhari)
Make your acts of help and cooperation sincerely for the sake of Allah. Consider every minute you spend helping others, every word, effort and piece of information you share as charity you’re giving for His sake.
2 – Help Them Privately
Since you’re helping people for the sake of Allah, there is no need to show off or let everyone know that you’re helping so and so. Your reward is not with people, and not even with your manager. Your reward is with Allah, and He is not unaware of what you do.
Reach out privately to your colleagues when offering support and guidance.
3 – Recognize Their Efforts Publicly
Observe and recognize their earnest efforts publicly whenever there is an opportunity. You can say in a meeting, gathering or an email for example, “I notice that ‘X’ has been doing an excellent job with ‘Y’ and this is really great for the company/our customers.”
Let them feel noticed and recognized for their efforts. Employees are not machines that can be charged by electricity, they are humans who can only be charged by positive human connection of courtesy and recognition.
4 – Give Them Your Best Without Fearing Loss
Give your best knowledge, best tips, and best advice and do not fear any loss.
Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger [saw] as saying that Allah, the Most Blessed and High, said: “O son of Adam, spend. I will spend on you. The right hand of Allah is full and overflowing and nothing would diminish it by overspending day and night.” (Sahih Muslim)
Do not think that when you give away a tip or one of your secrets to success that you will lose. Your own health, mind, intelligence, talent and provision all come from Allah, and Allah’s wealth is vast and there is nothing that can decrease it.
5 – Be Mercifully Truthful
Don’t use hypocrisy or deception. When your colleague is struggling or having a problem with the boss for example, supporting them does not mean “trash-talking” that manager behind his/her back or mocking them together to relieve stress. Rather, be mercifully truthful with your colleague without hypocrisy or deception.
Give them a balanced perspective and help them see matters as they really are. You can say, for example, “That email was a bit harsh, but it’s very important that you pay attention to doing xyz because if we don’t do that, it affects our company’s performance. How can I help you address this point? Is there anything I can do to support?”
6 – Never Disregard Their feelings
Some ‘small’ office talk is not really small. Words you mindlessly say to your colleagues in their face/via email can hurt their feelings and affect their performance for days.
Picking on someone even jokingly, undermining them, devaluing or making them feel intimidated is considered verbal abuse and bullying. Studies show that this behavior results in people’s poor mental health, sleep disorders, depression, anxiety, and psychological distress.
Be careful and mindful with every word you say to your colleagues and never disregard their feelings.
7 – Give Colleagues Their Due Value
You may have a colleague/subordinate who is older than you. People change their careers and may find themselves working with groups who are much younger than they are, but have more experience in the field they just started learning about.
Even if you know better or you are higher in rank than a more senior team member, this person is still entitled to receive your humility and respect.
Anas bin Malik [ranhu] narrated that “An older man came to talk to the Prophet, and the people were hesitant to make room for him. The Prophet said: He is not one of us who does not have mercy on our young and does not respect our elders.” (Jami` at-Tirmidhi)
8 – Don’t Make Anyone Feel Left Out
If your manager is reprimanding your colleague for a mistake or shortcoming, don’t abandon them thinking internally: “Thank God it’s not me. Phew. Let me not mingle with the ‘black-listed’ people now” Rather, go and help them. Ask them if there is something you can do to assist them with their tasks or alleviate their distress.
9 – Appreciate Colleagues Regularly
Up to 79% of people quit their jobs due to “lack of appreciation.” People need to hear and feel that they are appreciated at work where they spend the majority of their time.
Tell your colleagues that you appreciate them frequently. And instead of the empty, hasty or cold, “Thank you. Appreciate ‘it’’ Define the ‘it’ and make it more real and truthful.”
10 – Make Dua for Them Daily
Many Muslim working professionals report that their long hours at work make them feel spiritually deprived or that they need to wait until they finish work to start their worship. But actually work can deepen your worship if you make it a reason to make dua more. The Prophet [saw] said, “Verily supplication is worship.” [Related by the four Imams]
So make dua for your colleagues whom you know need help in their lives; those who need help getting married, or need help with their parents, their children or their health…etc.
But what if my colleagues didn’t reciprocate my positive treatment?
Even if your colleagues didn’t reciprocate the positive treatment, remember the Prophet [saw] said: “The Compassionate One has mercy on those who are merciful. If you show mercy to those who are on the earth, He Who is in heaven will show mercy to you.” (Sunan Abi Dawud)
You’ll be shown mercy by Him, not them. Putting forth this effort makes you the subject of Divine Mercy. And remember Allah’s Names include The First and the Last. We start with Allah and we end with Him.
“Surely to Allah all matters will return ˹for judgment.” (Ash-Shura 42: 53)