You’ve heard the saying “These boots are made for walking”, well these heels were made for running! As a single parent, I used to get up early to get myself and my kids ready for the day. I’d drop them off at their schools, then do my best to make the long commute to work and get there by 8 a.m. Inevitably, I’d be about 15-30 minutes late but being able to take my kids to school and not make them hitch a ride with someone else was important to me.
At the time, we were going through a significant change in our lives, and I wanted them to know they were my priority, even if it meant showing up to work a little late. Thankfully, my boss understood. He knew what we were going through and offered nothing but support.
As I now consult businesses on how to build high performing cultures, I’m reminded of this story and realize that if you want to win the heart of your employee, then you must allow them the flexibility to win the heart of their family.
It’s okay to understand what your employees might be managing at home and cut them some slack. It’s okay to prop them up with words of support and kindness. This world can deal families some tough blows make sure you’re giving your employees the support they need to get through it.
Those high heels carried me through the years when virtual work wasn’t a “thing” and being in the office was the only way to get the work done. Those high heels could also be found in a full sprint down the office hallway as I rushed out of a meeting to make it to my children’s sporting events. How I would have celebrated the opportunity to work from home during that time.
As leaders, I know we’re all re-evaluating the type of environment that we want to create post-pandemic, how flexible we want to be, and how it will impact performance. As we do, let’s keep in mind that some of our highest performers are also trying to be high performers at home. Their kids count on them and they count on us. Now is the time to reinvent for the future; let’s build successful companies and help our employees build happy, healthy families.