Our Work Families

Unfortunately, many employees feel that their daily work performance is the most or only important thing valued by leadership. Leaders on the other hand, may feel that employees do not appreciate the fact that they have a job and the many efforts that leadership takes daily to give them the opportunity of work.
The bottom line is this: both the employer and the employee need each other. It’s like having a work marriage. In the majority of occupations, this work marriage clocks many more waking hours with each other than in a traditional marital or family relationship. For example, an employee who works a 40 hour work week spends eight hours on the job and a certain amount of time driving to her/his work that may add another two hours of travel time. This equates to ten hours dedicated to work life a day. The worker has to sleep, so this would equate to approximately seven hours a sleep. This results in seventy percent of an employee’s time obligated to work and sleep during the Monday – Friday work week. Out of a twenty-four hour day, this leaves thirty percent of time to devote to family or activities that are fulfilling to an employee. Employees spend the majority of their waking hours with their co-workers and employers. Children’s sports competitions and performances, parenting and household commitments, and any hobbies or extracurricular activities all have to squeeze into the tiny space left in a worker’s life.
My husband and I while raising our two children had approximately 1.5-2 hours to talk during the 5 day work week as we prepared ourselves for bed and tried to unwind from our day. A similar scenario plays out daily in many American homes. Additional demands on the life of workers can come from a variety of things, such as extended commutes, longer shifts of work expected, overtime to cover co-worker absences, aging parent demands, and a million other things. The list is basically endless.
Life can be tough, demanding and draining. Is there any wonder why energy drinks are flying off the shelves? So the employee arrives at work and in many cases feels that their leadership and or management only desires to work them into the ground so the organization can make a large profit? Ouch, that stings. But there just may be some truth in this. Employees are the core of any organization and we as leaders and managers must have empathy for them as human beings and not treat them like a commodity, tools for accomplishing tasks, or a budget line item.

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