Schools back in session….Take care of the kids

Allowing your employees time to deal with family issues

Helping your employees balance life and work.

School is back in session most places or will be soon after Labor Day.  With the new school year comes many exciting opportunities and also challenges in the work place.  It’s not uncommon to have single parents or dual income families thus leaving no one at home to greet the kids when they arrive home from school.  Every parent worries that their child is safe so allow your employees a quick opportunity to call or text with their children just to make sure everyone is safe and plans for the rest of the day are coordinated.  The mindshare you will lose if someone is worried is far greater than the few minutes it will take for the text or quick phone call to occur.  And there is a good chance they will find a way to sneak and make that call any way.  Isn’t it better to allow them a few minutes than have them feel compelled to “sneak in time.”?

Allowing your employees time to deal with family issues

I learned years ago that allowing family to be a prominent part of the work conversation and sharing is important.  It leads to contentment, bonding and overall better health of an organization.  One of my fondest memories as a leader was allowing one of the managers to miss the beginning day of an important regional meeting.  His daughter was a senior athlete and my vice president’s meeting was the same as senior day when parents escorted their children to center court for that last special recognition.  I told my employee I would cover for him and my only ask was that he not tell his daughter and be there to surprise her.  I am not sure which of us was more excited…him or me!  What a treasured memory for his family and certainly what he would have lost if he missed that special moment was far greater than opening comments or brainstorming at our meeting.  I had a bond with that manager that will last a lifetime and his respect for me and desire to work even harder was exponential.

I know of a doctor’s office that has enough space to allow parents to bring their children to work if there is a snow delay.  Better to have a few children at work for a couple of hours versus losing a high percentage of your staff for the entire day if they have to take time off to be with their children.  You get the benefit of your employees being at work, their gratitude for your helping them take care of their family (isn’t that one of the primary reasons they are working?) and a great reputation as a wonderful place to work.

Look for ways to allow employees to volunteer at their child’s school, to donate to schools or to adopt a school.  With tight budgets, all schools can use extra help.  Let’s take care of the kids.