Employers- A Little Bit Of Compassion Goes A Long Way
As employers, it's important to keep in mind the human aspects of running your business. Life throws curve balls all the time and we never know when we will be hit by one. If those curve balls are ignored injury takes place.
Within the workplace, if we don't show compassion and understanding for the unknown variables our employees may face, we risk losing them, employee burnout, depression, and other health issues.
My husband runs a very busy business- IT, manages multiple networks, telecommunications, security cameras, grant writing and so much more. When you choose to go into business for yourself, you're basically on call 24/7. It's easy to burn out on your own because of the stress involved in running a business. It's our employees who represent the business and are the backbone to making sure each job completed is 110% complete.
My husband began as a solo entrepreneur 15 years ago after feeling unappreciated, beat down and disrespected as an IT director for health care over a period of 18 years. Many times during his career an unknown variable would come up and he had to suck it up and not miss work. He was so dedicated and a slave to his job he even worked on 2 separate occasions from his hospital bed and from home until he returned to work. He didn't miss a beat.
Because of my husband's experiences, he learned that it's NOT ok to treat employees like they are robots. He learned in order to keep class act employees he had to remember that things will arise and he would have to find ways to make concessions. He wanted his employees to understand how valued they are and he also wanted them to know he understands life gets in the way. I believe when employees know that their employers are compassionate they feel less anxious and are willing to go the extra mile when needed.
My husband gives a said amount of paid time off for vacations, they are paid for holidays and raises were given to compensate for their Health Care insurance. He allows for unlimited comp time for those times when they face the 'unknown,' unexpectedly. The employees do not take advantage of this because communication is very open within his department as well.
One of our employees recently had a very ill child. I knew that he and his wife would be stressing over time lost so I wrote to her on facebook- a reassurance and I shared a story with her. I will leave you with our conversations. We were young parents once and remember the trying times while raising young children. I had an employer that actually told me that the department I worked in came before family- I kid you not! Needless to say, I changed departments within the hospital after we had that exchange. Our experiences shaped us. I often wonder when managers show no compassion if they never had bad luck along the way (not that I would wish that on anyone), or they had bad luck, weren't treated well but learned nothing from their own experience?
Here is my exchange with our employee's wife:
PS: What is your families favorite meal? I'd like to make something for you all and send it with Adam when he's back to work (no worries.. no pressure about work AT ALL). By the way, I wanted to share privately w/you both that Brian was my sickly child. He as hospitalized 4 times in 2 yrs, had FUO's of 105 that took 2 days to come down to 101 and 4-5 days before they were gone. Had to go to University Hospital in Cleveland for that. He had bronchial tracheitis at 17 mos, threw up blood at 6 mos along with croup and ear infections all the time. By the time he was 4, he became very healthy!! Lauren had roseola once and it was scary b/c she had a seizure with the fever. I worked at the hospital at the time and swear I spent half my time being a parent w/their child as a patient there or at the Dr's all the freaking time. I truly can empathize with you two. It wears on you because we love our kids SO much. I have a feeling this will pass and if not, call the dermatologist back and ask for other suggestions? Remember to shoot me off your fav. dinner dish!!
Lisa, I wanted to take a moment and say "thank you" for your words. To hear another mother has struggled with sick kids, to hear (for a change) that I'm not a bad mom for having sick kids, and that they'll grow up to be OK... medicine to my soul. Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. You spoke directly to my worries and insecurities, giving me some peace and reassurance. I had a hard time looking at Andrew and not crying or feeling nauseated. And feeling bad about feeling that way. Thanks to you and Bill for helping us research and find possibilities and exclude some logically. I struggle with being a working mom when my boys are so sick so often. I keep waiting for"it" to get easier, but we just don't seem to be "there" quite yet. Thank you for sharing and helping. Hope you enjoy your holiday weekend!!
Simple yet sincere gestures can help to keep a healthy working environment