My Mom and I On July 4th
One of the issues that hasn’t surfaced over the debate about health care is the need to provide support for caregivers. An estimated 6.1 million Americans care for older relatives or friends. Caregiving cost companies $3.6 billion a year.
The cost is not just in hard dollars but in productivity lost. According to a June 2011 report by MetLife Mature Market Institute, the percentage of age 50 and older adult children taking care of parents has tripled since 1994.
I know the demands. I am one of the caregivers. I’m also lucky. I don’t have to raise the issue with my manager. I double up on my work when time must be spent with mom. But for other employees, there’s a great fear that caregivers will be regarded as not committed when they need to take time off for their loved one. Workers are often reluctant to even talk about family issues for t
he fear that it would hamper their career progression or bring out an awareness that multiple demands are pulling on their attention.
Caregiving is unpredictable. I have been called to take mom to the hospital at odd hours of the night. I now have call waiting on my telephone for the sole purpose of being interrupted if mom needs me. Just when I think that mom is stable and I can hold my phone conversation with a client, an emergency arises.
My Mom & I When I Was A Child
In too many organizations, work is viewed as a singular all-encompassing line. Leaders need to ask themselves if there is an unspoken culture that devalues and penalizes workers who also must juggle these demands. Somehow, we seem to understand the demands of raising a child but the more complicated demands of caring for an aging loved one defy our comprehension.
Maybe it will take leaders to experience the caregiving role in order to understand the draining and paradoxically rewarding task of caregiving. But I think leaders can’t wait. It is time to start a conversation about what issues your team faces outside of the world of work. With compassion, caring, and consideration, an organization who acknowledges and supports the role of caretakers will be the company of choice for job seekers and customers.
While not every interaction needs to have financial return, there should be rules that are followed if someone needs “friendly” advice so there is still time to get your work done. Here are six questions to ask if someone wants assistance without you losing track of your own time and goals. Click here to read the rest.
I ran into my local grocery store yesterday. Under the cool overhang by the automatic door, high school cheerleaders were waving posters and asking for donations so they could go to an out-of-state competition. In a hurry, I ignored them.
Driving back to my house, sitting on the curb in the hot sun were two little girls about the age of 7. Under the protective gaze of their moms, the children pointed to their pitcher of lemonade and a sign: 25cents. Now that was a compelling offer. I stopped.
The difference: the younger girls (in a hot location, too), were GIVING something in order to GET something. The teens, hopping around in the shade were giving nothing. In short, they were begging.
Since I believe all leadership starts with self leadership, I applaud the seven year-olds and their mothers for creating an early idea of responsibility and achievement. Too bad the coach of the cheer leading squad didn’t have the same leadership vision.
P.S. The Marines were also up the road, raising money by washing cars. Semper Fidelis– always faithful. These men and women have also given much. We can never give enough to all of our armed forces for what they continue to give. Gotta run now– I have a car to get washed. Think I will pick up a lemonade on the way:)
WebMD has a new article about work/life balance. Take a look at 5 Tips For Better Work-Life Balance. Check it out!
I am proud to announce that Work For A Living & Still Be Free To Live is now available on Kindle via Amazon.com.
Work For A Living & Still Be Free To Live (Revised for the New Millennium) is for overworked executives, entrepreneurs, stressed-out employees or anyone who knows that there is more to life than receiving a paycheck. This book offers step-by-step advice based on the experience of real people who have made advantageous career choices. These stories will enable you to find and maintain a life by design and not default.
Work for a Living & Still Be Free to Live is a valuable book that leads the reader through an evaluation of his/her strengths and needs and demonstrates an intriguing method to define a true work pattern. How to integrate it into the reader’s life is the triumph of this guide-which is a virtual map to job and personal success.
Midwest Book Review had this to say about Work For A Living & Still Be Free To Live:
“Work For A Living And Still Be Free To Live offers step-by-step supportive advice that will enable you to find and maintain positive balance in your life and occupation. Work For A Living And Still Be Free To Live is an inspiring, practical, “things to do and steps to take” how-to guide that can help transform your life into one with a new purpose and passion. Work For A Living And Still Be Free To Live is highly recommended reading for anyone regardless of their type of job, age, educational background or skills.”
You can purchase the Kindle version of the book at http://ow.ly/4LoqW.
Employers who are serious about work/life balance can now offer employees discounted vacation packages through a company called Rovia. Rovia puts together a wide variety of vacations ranging from weekend getaways to luxury vacations hosted by a Rovia employee who coordinates activities on the trip.
To learn more read this article.
As my soon-to-be-published book stated: Vacation for your Vocation!
Inland waters of Alaska
Jennifer Ludden of NPR has written a fascinating three part article about work/life balance. You can read the first installment at NPR.
There was a time when the boundaries between work and home were fairly clear. Today, however, work is likely to invade your personal life — and maintaining work-life balance is no simple task. Still, work-life balance isn’t out of reach. Start by evaluating your relationship to work. Then apply specific strategies to help you strike a healthier balance. Click here to read the entire article at Mayo Clinic.
Latest research on employee engagement suggests employees are becoming more disengaged and unhappy. According to a study by the Corporate Executive Board among more than 50,000 global workers, work-life balance now ranks second only to compensation as one of the most important workplace attributes. And, employees who feel they have a better work-life balance tend to work 21 percent harder than those who don’t.
We’re not just talking flextime, job share, work-from-home,child care and elder care support, but also training in work-life integration skills. The 24-7 world we now inhabit requires different decisions, clarity around high value work, and a workplace culture that value the WHOLE individual.
April 2011 BlueSteps.com surveyed over 800 global senior executive members to discover the latest attitudes to work-life balance. Of those surveyed, over half reported that they currently do not have a satisfactory work-life balance – the highest dissatisfaction figure recorded since the survey began in 2006.
Eighty-two percent report that their company does not have a program in place to improve work-life balance. The results show a clear disconnect between the way in which organizations view work-life balance as compared to the value placed upon it by executives.
The latest BlueSteps.com results indicate that many organizations are overlooking the fundamental link between a healthy company and “healthy” executives.”