Yes, Mom. Sure thing, Dad. I’ll take you shopping after work. No, you won’t be late for the Doctor’s appointment…we don’t have to leave two hours early just in case the car breaks down. We have all said this to our parents, or we will. Our parents are living longer, that is the blessing. The other side of this coin is they need more care in their daily living. And this does impact your business.
A while back, employees were worried about getting to PTA meetings at school and getting the kids to Little League or soccer practice. The times have changed with more folks living longer. Don’t get me wrong. This is great, especially as I am entering “that age group.” But what about your employees? They will need more time-shifting to take care of their parents, count on it.
What should you do? Create an environment that is family-oriented within your company. Where employees will chip in and help out so that others can take care of family. Where everyone realizes that the company will only survive with the best employees, and the best employees are ones that help each other. Many companies allow employees to donate their time off to others when it is needed, with no expectation of a return. This is a true working team.
If employees are worried about a child, or a parent, their mind is not on work. This leads to mistakes, or worse, to accidents. When the time comes that you need a special project finished on a Saturday, your team will pitch in and help if the environment works. Yes, you will have some confusing days when a good employee has to take Mom for an emergency doctor’s appointment, but I am sure that you will be paid back ten times over when your employees respect your company.
With two-earner families, which spouse takes the time off work to take Mom for her cataract exam? You probably have been saying, have your wife or husband do it…my company is more important. But, consider the one person family, where your employee is the only child in the area.
It is important that you know each of your employee’s personal situations. You don’t have to be involved in their personal life, but having empathy for their needs will definately improve your relationship with your employees, which will improve your business.