Many of us hold organizational culture and the specific culture of our workplace in high regard. If we are job seeking, we use tools like Glassdoor to help us peek inside a potential employer and get the real scoop on culture. When the culture is great, the business thrives. Employees stay and A players send resumes to join the team. A great culture isn’t a matter of luck or happenstance, it is great leaders that drive the beliefs that manifests into behaviors that are supportive, innovative and fun. Consistently pay and shiny options are not at the top of the wish list for workers. Instead, it is culture.
How many of these workers, that believe in culture and make it their mission to seek certain jobs based on culture, go home to their families at night and “manage” with a completely different standard? A manager may speak patiently, use manners, motivate and make constructive decisions during the day. Then go home and bark orders, yell at family members and ask children what they want for dinner when the choice is in no one’s best interest. Why? Does this create future workers that will thrive and eventually lead their own organizations with enviable cultures? No. I am guilty of this too and if I were taking a moment to recalibrate, here is what I would try to do:
Define the mission: It might be as simple as deciding dinner, or more complex like planning a trip. Communicating the plan and gathering feedback gets buy-in. Dictating orders does not. Sound decision-making is what helped you professionally. Gathering ideas and input and making decisions that are focused and best for all is part of your job. Then, does it make sense for your 3-year-old to tell you that they should eat macaroni and cheese again? Take control in the same collaborative and consistent way and keep the mission on course.
Communicate: Sometimes the last thing I want to do is to remember to convey more information. The list never, ever ends. And I know that when the kids know what is coming and what we are planning, it all goes smoother. Driving the vision at home is just an important as it is at work.
Speak kindly: No one wants to work for someone who yells or over reacts. A manager’s actions are under the microscope and the position does not forgive meltdowns. Not one. What if parents thought of their actions in terms of a manager and the kids were employees? Would the daily characteristics change? Would the parents act more “professionally?” How we handle ourselves will be the direct lesson in how our children one day handle themselves at work.
Keep the turnover low: Of course you won’t turnover your kids (though sometimes you want to). But you can lose their engagement with the family at times. Explore the cause. If you kept losing good employees, would you start considering reasons? Of course. Your kids are the biggest investment of all and benefits can come from looking at the family from the perspective of the logical manager brain.
Mistakes happen: When an employee comes to you and makes a mistake, are you forgiving? Usually. What about at home? My kids have made a lot of mistakes. I try to remember to tell myself that it isn’t the end of the world and not over react. It is their mistake to make. Not mine.
People are waiting to join the team: If I don’t think about the culture in my home, others will have a stronger influence. There are a lot of people out there recruiting my kids and not all of them have the right motive. Culture is powerful, whether it is positive or negative. If the culture in the home is not worth staying for, eventually your kids will find another one…just like workers do in the workplace.