..your career didn’t depend on it?
Would you tell your manager in week 12 that you are pregnant or that same time when you tell you friends about it? If no, why? We have automatically been following in the footsteps of what the labour market used to look like hundreds of years ago. Where work was pure survival and the hierarchy in the factory, the bank or the farm forced the workers to push themselves to their limit, sometimes literally paying with years of their lives. Saying the wrong thing was not an option, only telling your boss what he wanted to hear, it didn’t really matter if it was the truth or not. It is still a hierarchy and I know multiple cases where employers have been using the fact that kids are on the way as an excuse to not promote, also letting staff go because of that matter. But with perspectives of leading people what can we improve?
Because a lot has changed, the options of where to work are many. Today work has turned into something different, I am not saying that we are no longer loyal as individuals and yes, we still work hard but at what terms are up for competition. All of the sudden the old structure where the “manager” could push the workers hard is gone. On the contrary if you want your employees to stay you need to make sure they enjoy what they do, feel challenged and see an opportunity to grow together with you and the team.
So I believe that the most important part in a functional team is trust (according Maslow too), so why have we continued to work as if it didn’t truly matter? If I plan for my employees to stay for long, I will act accordingly. They will start to feel it too and most probably they will contemplate staying longer than if I didn’t act on it in the first place. Obviously the other parts of the offer to work with you would have to be attractive (see pyramid of trust). Naive? Possibly, but also very interesting and important to contemplate when building a business as so many women I meet do. Commitment and taking responsibilities at work should not be less prioritized, the person taking the lead in an organisation should be rewarded for sure, with kids or with no kids. What I am saying is that building a scale-up is different today and it’s an opportunity t work with and not against.
Food for thoughts. Imagine if you as an employer would be so attractive that you would be able to plan around your employees personal life, having kids would be part of the plan. At some workplaces this is already a reality. If you build that level of trust your employees would stay for long, which is very important when starting and building a business. So if you had the information that your employee would have a baby in two years or nine months, wouldn’t that improve the opportunity to prepare for the needs of your organization in time?
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