When Companies Care(d)

people-care-about-results-when-the-company-demonstrates-they-care-about-their-people

My grandfather worked for Consumers Power in Michigan for over forty years, beginning in the 20’s as a lineman and ending up in management. When he passed away in 1971, that utility company did something practically unheard of today. They contacted my grandmother, who’d been a homemaker throughout their marriage, and offered her a job. She ended up working her way up to a management position and retired after fifteen years. I’m sure this action was initiated by one of the senior managers but it was the company that we felt gratitude for. To this day, whenever I think about that company, I recall it being family oriented and actually caring about their employees and their families.

In today’s results driven workplace the perception is that most companies care more about their bottom line than their employees. With phrases like “work / life balance”, “flexible scheduling” or “excellent earning potential” being touted, it as though those companies are trying to convince people what a good employer they are. Would they need to use such phrases if they actually had a track record of being a preferred employer? Often times our perception of companies that are family oriented bring to mind small or family owned businesses. However, working for small companies may mean less benefits or a smaller salary.

I believe the attitudes and actions of managers have a greater impact on the perception of employees than any formal company statement. If your direct supervisor demonstrates that they care about you, your perception of the company is a more positive one. Conversely, if your boss is a jerk, it’s tough to feel good about where you are working. In large companies, the managers who are two to three levels above an employee are the face of the company because most workers don’t have interactions with the company executives. There lies the opportunity.

If you supervise others, understand that you influence how your employees perceive the company. Sure, you have deadlines to meet and results to obtain. However, treating others with respect, kindness and genuine interest in their wellbeing will help you produce better results. Think about a time that you lost your temper or behaved badly with your team and what that result was. Could it have been better if you were better? Knowing that those we work with actually care makes a huge difference in our performance.

Only you know what kind of boss you are. You make the decision to care or not care about your team. Just realize that your actions turn into the overall perception of the company. Just like that senior manager at Consumers Power, you can make a difference in the lives of your employees and their families and impact how your company is thought of.

christiebakeman.com

Now an apology to those who were reading my blogs each week and noticed that I haven’t published anything for two months. My husband fell off a ladder while working, resulting in a hip replacement. We aren’t spring chickens anymore so getting him back to normal is going to take months. Between working full time, taking care of him and handling all other aspects of our lives, something had to give and it was my writing. Things have gotten to a new normal for us so I hope you will continue to read my work. Most importantly, I hope my writing makes you think about your own life and beliefs and how to live a happier life.  Christie

Advertisements

Black, White, Brown Lives Matter

the secret to change    Socrates

The law of vibration permeates everything. Ignorance about universal laws doesn’t mean they don’t govern our lives, it simply means we are unaware. When this is the case, we talk about coincidence or luck, failing to recognize we have pulled a circumstance or person into our life because it matched our vibration. Like attracts like and there is simply no avoiding that. The law of attraction works in conjunction with the law of vibration bringing us people, events and things that are at a similar frequency to the one we are operating at. This is as true for individuals as it is for groups.

When a group, or individuals of that group, publicly state that they want others to suffer, or that someone, different than they are, should be killed so they understand the pain the group has experienced…..I want to scream……What the hell are you doing? You cannot improve a situation by creating more of the same. I understand feeling hurt. I understand the pain of loss. I understand the frustration of wanting things to change. I also understand that many times we need to do something to defend ourselves against perceived wrongs. The manner that we do that, defines us as people and a society.

Every emotion that we feel comes from love or fear. Where contentment is closer to love, anger is closer to fear. Picture a horizontal line with fear on the left and love is on the right. You can plot every emotion on that line. You can also plot every thought, belief and action somewhere on that same line. The frequency that you normally vibrate at is somewhere between love and fear. Only you know where that is and only you can change it via your thoughts.

If you want to learn more about how to change your thoughts, my book It’s Your Life…Own It! provides practical techniques that you can start using today. Available in soft cover or ebook at author book site. Much love and light to all of you.

Why Dr. Wayne Dyer Inspired Me For Over 30 Years

Wayne Dyer nothing is impossible

I cried last August when I heard about Dr. Wayne Dyer’s death.  I was saddened not so much for myself but for the world as a whole.  We need people who are willing to honestly share of themselves to make a positive difference and to bring hope to this troubled planet.  A voice of reason, love and encouragement had left us.

The first time I encountered Wayne Dyer was shortly after Your Erroneous Zones was released.  He had just begun his speaking career and I was attending a conference by Alternatives In Motivation.  I had no idea that brief encounter would influence me throughout my adult life.  Let me me clear, the man couldn’t have picked me out of a crowd, still I felt a connection to his work.  I felt blessed to see him speak in Denver just four months prior to his death.  All the things I loved; his humor, common sense speak, gentleness, and openness still existed even after thirty years of being in the limelight.

Do you understand how difficult that may have been?  As I think about others I’ve met who have achieved great success, I am forced to observe the differences.  Arrogance, believing you are better and just plain rudeness don’t have to be byproducts of your achievements and Wayne proved that.  The wonder of this life and his openness resulted in his final book, Memories of Heaven, which examines our curiosity of where we came from the eyes of the newest among us.  I highly recommend this beautiful piece of work to anyone with children or grandchildren.

As a writer of non-fiction I find Dr. Wayne Dyer’s advice of writing from the soul, essential to staying focused.  I interpret this as writing from the highest vibration possible, what I call the true you, that indestructible energy that operates at the level that is part of all that is.  To recognize that all people are connected to a source energy and to appeal to that connection with words is something Wayne excelled at.  Even the stories of difficulties shared were meant to connect and then lift up those in the audience.

The fact is that no person lives without some challenges rising up and taking our attention away from what we desire.  How we label those events depends on both our beliefs and our attitude about life.  We can see them as opportunities for growth as Wayne did or we can see them as evidence of a cruel and unfair world.  The choice is yours.  For me, I choose to see the opportunity within the struggle, in part because I was introduced to a great teacher over three decades ago.

You can connect with me or see more of my work at christiebakeman.com  Please feel free to leave comments here or on my website.

Care Enough to Hold Others Accountable

Holding Accountable

christiebakeman.com

In today’s world of political correctness, it’s much easier to not take responsibility for addressing issues for fear of being criticized.  I’ve seen this turn into dishonest communication so others don’t get upset.  In other words, telling people what they want to hear whether it is true or not.  When did we stop caring so much about our own integrity and frankly truly caring about others?  In my book, It’s Your Life…Own It!, I provide practical ways to improve honest communication.  All of us have to handle situations we’d rather avoid but there are ways to achieve an outcome that works for everyone.

Recently I stopped in a store managed by a former employee of mine.  She was an awesome manager with excellent results so I was shocked to see her store in disarray.  I couldn’t help myself, I had to ask why she was operating a store so far below her capabilities.  She told me her boss always told her the store looked great.  My opinionated, former manager self pointed out that she knew that wasn’t true so why wouldn’t she take more pride?  She told me if the boss doesn’t care then why should I?  Really?!?  Rather than leave her in a state of “not giving a damn” we discussed an action of plan for getting back to, both her and her team, having pride in their work.  You may be thinking it was none of my business, however I love this woman and want her to do well.

Holding people accountable shows you care.  I’m not talking about criticizing for the sake of punishing or demoralizing others.  Honest communication allows people to recognize where they are and how they can improve and grow.  People are happier when they are learning and growing.  If you care about individuals or people in general, you can be the catalyst that points them in the direction of pride and self satisfaction.

Whether you have been in a management position for five or thirty years, it is likely that you’ve experienced terminating an employee from your company.  This is the extreme end of holding someone accountable but there are times it is the best for all concerned.  Even this action can be done with a caring attitude.  I recall a manager, we’ll call him “Norman”, that I had to terminate for sexual misconduct.  No lines of grey with that type of offense.  However I made sure he was clear on why I was taking action.  After about a year passed, he reached out to me to say thank you.  His losing his job made him take an honest look at his behaviors thus making the needed changes in his life.  Norman sent me Christmas cards for the next ten years.  Not something you’d expect from someone you fired.

I’m not suggesting that holding others accountable is always easy.  It isn’t if you allow yourself to focus on your own fears.  Will they argue, will they quit, will they point out your own deficiencies?  If you care about others you don’t want to make them feel bad.  However, if you truly care you should set aside your own thoughts and focus on that person and how you can best help them.  It doesn’t matter if you are their boss, their friend or their coach.  People want honest communication.  Step up.  Unless you are afraid of being held accountable yourself.?.

I also write a weekly newsletter, covering different topics.  Sign up and it will be sent to your email each week.  Christies Comments Weekly Newsletter

Rather Lose My Job Than My Integrity

Integrity is doing the right thing C. S. Lewis

Have you ever had a job that you enjoyed so much, all others were compared to it?  Although I didn’t realize it at the time, I had the best job for me about twenty five years ago.  I was running a small company in Atlanta, wearing multiple hats on a daily basis.  The hours were crazy, the work full of variety and my team was full of creative individuals who were both a pain in the ass and inspiring.  I loved what I was doing!  I was having fun!  I was growing as an individual and a supervisor!  My team enjoyed their work and they kept improving and growing themselves.  Then it ended by my own hand.

I had to make the toughest career choice of my life.  It was heart wrenching because I really loved what I was doing.  Yet I knew, deep within my soul, that it was my only choice if I was going to be able to look at myself in the mirror.  Although I was the face of that company, the financial owners of that business were in another state.  When they asked me, actually directed me, to do something unlawful I was forced to make a choice.  I had to decide how important my integrity was.  Should I do what they wanted to keep my job?  I had two young children so the fear of losing my job put an incredible amount of stress on me.  How would we survive?  Then again, how would I survive if I went against all that I knew was right?

I’ve made plenty of mistakes in my life however maintaining my level of integrity in that situation wasn’t one of them.  I resigned and walked away from a company I’d built up and enjoyed immensely.  I experienced months of depression caused by feeling like I had no sense of purpose.  With the help of friends I ended my self pity party and got on with life.

It may sound like a unique situation however people find themselves at the crossroads of integrity and going with the flow often.  Your boss asks you to do something that is at the very least, against your better judgment.  Your brother in law asks you to hang on to an illegal substance so your sister doesn’t find it.  Rather than answer a question honestly you believe it will cause less of a ruckus if you lie.  All may seem like relatively small, insignificant choices but I warn you they build on each other.

All of us want to be right.  When we commit an act or make a statement that we believe is wrong then we justify what we’ve done.  We decide it was the best choice and convince ourselves of that.  The next time a similar situation arises, it becomes easier to justify.  Pretty soon the personal line between right and wrong has become blurred to the point that we don’t remember where it is.  Thus we’ve given away little pieces of our integrity, not recognizing the effort it will take to recover that part of ourselves.

If you find that you feel guilt or self loathing over past decisions, please let it go.  Learn to forgive yourself for your poor judgement.  What’s past is past and there isn’t much you can do to change it unless there is some way to make amends with another person.  If that is the case, do what you need to.  However, you can make the choice to be true to yourself from this day forward.  Follow the path of what you know is right for you.  Think about your integrity and maintaining it at a level that you can live with….guilt free.  christiebakeman.com