April: Take Your Kids to Work

April 1st – watch out for those jokers and pranksters
April 7th – World Health Day ~ how are you utilizing your benefits?
April 21st – Administrative Professionals Day
April 22nd – Earth Day & Take your son & daughters to workday

April is a month filled with notable events; we had the always entertaining April Fool’s Day, World Health Day, Administrative Professionals’ Day, Earth Day and Take Your Children to Work Day.

Let’s focus on that last one: if you’re the boss, what would your children think about your work place? Kids have amazing radar and can quickly pick up on ‘atmosphere’. So, from a child’s perspective, let’s consider your workplace.

1) Playing nice with the kids in the sandbox? Kids are typically told to get along with others who are sharing their public space – playgrounds, school rooms, gymnasiums. Your place of business is also a ‘public space’ and often require more than each employee to get along with the others. They often have to cooperate: group projects, shared resources, deadlines, morale.
Have you provided your employees with a clear sense of the company culture about behaviors? Acceptable language? Positive feedback? Encouragement? All these things arise through your pro-active postings or passive acceptance of others’ choices. Believe me: the more you guide your employees to a shared sense of ‘how we do things here; how we get along with each other here’, the more productive they’ll be on your behalf.

2) Got a class bully? While the person who is aggressive towards others is often suffering in her own way, she’s also wreaking havoc on the productivity and absenteeism of others who work for you. And, while you may want to let the adults work it out for themselves, different personalities and varying private issues may prevent that from happening. What’s worse, a toxic environment spills over into the atmosphere, creating tension that can quickly show up in your bottom line.
Make sure you have a strong H.R. policy in place that includes a private consultation for each person as well as facilitated discussion that leads towards real resolution.

3) Did you clean up your room? Sure, some work spaces are private and ought to allow your team members to express their personality; it’s great if they have photos, art or plants that create a space conducive to creativity and productivity. However, at some point ‘personality’ may include smells, sounds or disarray that offends to the point of interfering with the daily workloads. Published policy or your updated operations manual can be your best friend here as it takes blame away from you personally when you try to enforce the rules; after all, it’s in the rule book!

4) No dessert ‘til you’ve had dinner! While I’m not suggesting you have your employees provide a food journal, I do urge you to encourage healthy habits; it’s all to your own betterment. Giving people pleasant lunch spaces, safe environments, clean bathrooms, good lighting, comfortable seating, ergonomic desk space, hours that allow for family time, up to date tools, opportunities for growth and training are all conducive to encouraging your team to work well and consistently on your behalf, especially if they believe it will improve their situation as well.

A lot goes into a strong Human Relations department, far more than sick days and salary. We’re right here if we can partner with you to assist and improve productivity for you and your business. So next year, on Take Your Kids to Work day, they’ll want to pitch in and help, too!

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