A message to any business owner that has employees:
Your business is your life – I get it. I work hard every day with my husband on our business. However, if someone said to you that you needed to put something of theirs above your business or your family, would you? My guess would be not a chance. I know I certainly wouldn’t. It would be unnatural to assume otherwise of any person. Trying to force someone to go against their natural human motivations is a recipe for failure – ultimately leading to burnout and resentment.
I have always been a proponent of the balanced approach to work. When I take care of myself, get enough sleep and am able to spend some time with family – I approach work with a clear mind and am more productive. I also do not force myself to work 8-hours straight without any breaks. Both having a work-life balance and having a flexible schedule have been proven to result in increased productivity and revenue.
You can’t go into hiring employees with the mindset that they will put your company above everything else in their lives, nor should they. Of course the employee should be dedicated and responsible, but not at the expense of the rest of their lives. It is your business, and your responsibility to ensure you have provided enough resources for your business to operate. You are the accountable one in the end. Employees are not a means to an end, or a machine that needs to increase its output to meet a certain quota – they are human beings with thinking brains and complex emotions.
Most companies hire employees “at will” which states verbatim that they can be let go “at any time for any reason”. The tone of the relationship is set right out of the gate. If it is evident that you are not willing to invest in them, I would ask why you would expect them to invest in you? I believe that once there is this understanding and the employee-employer relationship is viewed as a mutually beneficial two-way street, the working world will be a much better place for everyone involved. Please stop making it so damn difficult.
Let’s move beyond this outdated reasoning and step into a new way of doing business together.