It’s the ultimate goal every day you wake up, to be happy. At the end of the week, you want to be happy. Happy in love, happy in work, happy in life, happy with yourself. It’s pretty simple – Pierce Brosnan, former James Bond
Many people talk about leaving work behind when they clock off for the day and leaving their troubles at home, well, at home! However, while it might be an idealised aspiration to think that we can simply compartmentalise the different aspects of our lives in this way, the truth is that we’re human, not robots. When you’re having a tough time at home, it makes it difficult for you to be a high performing employee at work.
Many of us have been working from home during the pandemic, which makes it even more crucial to have a positive home environment. If things aren’t right in an employee’s home life, it’s going to be almost impossible for them to do a good job. I mean, working parents might be superheroes, but I think even James Bond would struggle to meet his deadlines if he had to contend with toddlers squabbling round his ankles, a wife who needs quiet for a Zoom call and all while he’s expected to save the world!
Recent research by KPMG demonstrated that an incredible 94% of employees are suffering from stress. Given the pressures of the pandemic, this is possibly not a surprising statistic given how all of us have had to make drastic adaptations to our lives, but still, it is shocking to think that so many people are under so much pressure.
Stress has so many negative side effects, including:
- Lack of motivation
- Feelings of overwhelm
- Irritability or anger
- Sadness or depression
- Social withdrawal
- Lack of concentration and focus
- Memory loss
These negatively translate into problems in the workplace, such as:
- High absenteeism
- High labour turnover
- Poor time keeping
- Poor performance and productivity
- Low morale
- Increased ill-health, accidents and incidents reports
As a parenting coach I’ve seen so many instances of where a parent is at their wits’ end. They’re under so much pressure and they want to do a good job, they want to have the career of their dreams, they want to be there for their partner, and they desperately want to be the best parent they can be, but they’re struggling, and they can’t see a way out.
Fortunately, I have several strategies which can help.
One of the biggest changes someone can make to see fast results is to start managing their time more effectively. Learning how to prioritise what’s important allows you to get more done in less time. No more ‘busy’ work! Focusing on those tasks which genuinely deliver progress and productivity makes a world of difference to morale and the beautiful thing about learning strong time management skills is that they translate from the workplace to the home and vice versa. As someone gets control of everything they’re juggling at home, they also get on top of their work to-do list – everyone wins!
My programme also supports parents to improve their emotional intelligence (EI), which is one of the most in-demand soft skills in the modern workplace. The Hay Group’s study of 44 Fortune 500 companies found that salespeople with high EQ produced twice the revenue of those with average or below average scores, while a study by Feist and Barron showed that social and emotional abilities were four times more important than IQ in determining professional success and prestige.
EI is based in four pillars: Self-awareness, self-management, social-awareness, and relationship management. All these skills are essential in the workplace. When you consider that the Forum Corporation on Manufacturing and Service Companies found that 70% of the reasons for losing customers and clients were related to EI, it’s not difficult to see the impact increasing your staff’s EI could have on your business.
Sometimes, dealing with a difficult customer can feel like dealing with a child throwing a tantrum, only we can’t parent a customer! In the Focused Family Formula, I teach parents the art of calm-assertive communication and how to listen empathetically to improve relationships in the home. While your customers and co-workers might not be toddlers anymore, it’s amazing how different relationships are when they’re spoken to in a calm-assertive manner and feel like they’re being heard.
Confident and Effective Parents are Focused and Productive Employees.
Everyone benefits when things are great at home. When you improve one aspect of your life, it has a knock-on effect on everything else you do. When a parent no longer sees work as somewhere to escape the pressures of home and instead looks forward to building their career because they’re motivated to do their best for their family, not only are they more productive, they improve morale in the workplace and support those around them to improve their EI as well.
Everything starts at home. That’s why it’s the Focused Family Formula rather than Focused Parent. If you want your work family to be as balanced and functional as their relationships at home, you need to support your staff to find harmony in every aspect of their life.