Is it a Manager’s Job to make Sure Employees Have a Life Outside Work

Boss Employee

An employee who wants to spend time with a new born in the family or serving his ailing parents or relatives might ask to work remotely from home. Perhaps these seem like reasonable requests that any humane manager would approve. And in most cases, as their supervisors, we did grant these requests. But sometimes being a tough manager might prevent people like these from even mentioning their needs to their managers. If you’re not sleeping under your desk, you’re not committed — an attitude we sometimes refer to as “martyr capitalism.”

We want our employees and collaborators to get their jobs done — that’s a given — we want to see them thrive both in and out of the workplace. We want to make them a winner both in office and at their home. But generally we are struck with the Return of Investment (ROI) game. We constantly are questioned by what is the ROI if we allow them to do so. But all things in life can’t be quantified.

Instead of being penalized for needing time to process a difficult life change or illness — or even to attend a child’s soccer game or parent teacher meeting— we believe managers should encourage taking the time to have a rich life outside of the cube. We have both found that encouraging employees to be creative and independent — not obedient soldiers taking orders down the chain of command — makes everyone feel like they have a stake in a positive outcome of the organisation. An experiment from University of Michigan research study found that employees thrive when working in an atmosphere that is “positive and virtuous,” including being treated with respect and compassion, as well as being appreciated for the value for their contributions. Kindness can reinforce competence and lead to greater success. People who are treated kindly and with respect literally operate more from their pre-frontal cortex, associated with nuanced decision making, creativity and abstract thinking, rather than their amygdala, associated with the fight or flight response.

A mean boss may get short-term results, but sows the seeds for long-term systemic failure. We are convinced that a team characterized by trust, respect and admiration, working 40-hour work weeks, will outperform a similarly competent team characterized by fear, mistrust and scarcity thinking, frantically “being productive” 80 hours per week. The statistical evidence overwhelmingly supports that more than 50 hours per week leads to diminished returns.

Fear is not the same as respect, and kindness is not the inverse of competence People who believe their work truly benefits others and who are treated with respect in the workplace simply produce better results.

For managers who would like to move away from a pressure- and fear-based system to a more human way of leading will have to do the following :

  •  “why” is most important. We should not be concerned with “what” or the “how”  to deliver the product or service, but how the deep basic need is being met or not and the and the feelings we create for customers.
  • Try to understand what your employers really care about. This may sound simple but in the pressure to deliver in office it is generally never talked about.
  • Give more relaxation to the Performers and Be very Cautious of people who always take & give excuse as their need might not be as urgent as they project them to be.
  • Try to understand that this will pay off in time. The ROI will not be immediate.

3 thoughts on “Is it a Manager’s Job to make Sure Employees Have a Life Outside Work

  1. It is a well known fact that all we really want is recognition and understanding. The days of being a bad boss are going behind us as we move into a much more caring world. People must understand others needs and follow a decent procedure. We must treat others how we wish to be treated ourselves.

    Liked by 1 person

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