When Companies Care(d)

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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

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My Top 10 List For Raising Happy Children

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As parents we provide the best life we can for our children. I believe most of us want our children to become happy and responsible adults. This is my top 10 list to achieve that. You may have your own list however I’m thinking our lists have much in common.

  • Teach children they are energy and connected to everything by energy
  • Tell children they are intelligent and demonstrate you believe it
  • Teach children their thoughts produce tangible results
  • Teach words can hurt or encourage and to choose wisely
  • Demonstrate that kindness brings joy to both giver and receiver
  • Teach that moral courage and integrity are the basis of good decisions
  • Teach that collaboration improves every situation
  • Teach children that they control how they feel and can change it
  • Demonstrate that life is fun and full of opportunity
  • Teach by example what happiness is because they witness happy parents

No matter the age of your child, every parent knows the feeling of your words falling on deaf ears. For those of you feeling a bit of discouragement over this, let me assure you that anything that is repeated often does sink in.  You may have to wait until your children have reached adulthood to get verification but the important lessons will stick. Here’s an example that had me laughing out loud. My youngest son, Ryan, was a slob growing up. It was normal not to see his bedroom floor beneath the discarded clothes and sports equipment. Dishes had great difficulty finding their way back to the kitchen. You get the idea. I tried to teach my children that an organized space helps you to feel more in control of your world (not in my top 10). A couple of months ago during a phone conversation, Ryan was telling me what a slob his roommate was. He described dishes with food on them under the bed, clothes dropped wherever and the inability to wipe off the kitchen counter. Evidently Ryan has turned into a neat freak since living on his own. I, of course, was LMAO at the irony. My point is, eventually your kids recognize lessons from childhood.

Although I could turn my top 10 list into a book, I want to address what I believe is the most important — being a happy parent. The fact is what you say doesn’t matter nearly as much as what your children observe in the household. Think about it. The reason so many adults have mental blocks about money is we grew up hearing “money doesn’t grow on trees”, “we can’t afford that” or “our last name isn’t Rockefeller”. We witnessed our parents arguing over money or financial decisions. Even though conversations may not have been directed at us, we developed beliefs based on the sense of lack that was prevalent in the actions of our family.

If you want your children to be happy, find a way to be happy with your life, the way it is right now. Find the joy and gratefulness within the day to day living. Let your children see that there are reasons to be happy even when there is a challenge. Allow them to witness you doing things that you love and the joy it brings you. Pay attention to both your actions and words as you teach them by example that this is a friendly and loving universe. Do this and they will know that happiness is an achievable result of the choices they make coupled with how they think.

You can read more in my book, It’s Your Life….Own It! available on Amazon