Recently, I had a conversation with my friend Ike Reighard about what it takes to create a great place to work. Ike is a pastor and the CEO of MUST Ministries, but a number of years ago he was the Chief People Officer of a large financial organization.
He explained that as a company they spent a lot time studying what makes an organization a great place to work, so it’s no surprise that this company made Fortune Magazine’s “100 Best Places to Work” multiple years in a row.
One concept he mentioned was particularly fascinating to me. As they studied their corporate culture, they realized that people were most dissatisfied with their jobs when they felt like they were missing out on other important things. Employees saved their personal-leave days for big life events each year, but they felt like they didn’t have the freedom and flexibility to be there for the people who are important to them.
They wanted to be at their daughter’s ballet recital. They needed to visit their mom more during her extended stay in the hospital. They wished they could go to their child’s Thanksgiving parade at school. They wanted to be at their friend’s retirement luncheon.
They wanted to be there for some of those smaller things that mean so much to them and the people they love. So, this company created something called “Being There” time. Instead of asking their employees to pull from personal-leave or vacation time, they gave them a bank of hours to use for the important, everyday moments where presence is everything.
I know what you’re thinking, “This sounds great, but how does this apply to me?”
First, if you’re in a position where you can create time for other people to be there, do it. Not only will they be better spouses, parents, and friends, but they’ll also be happier at work and more loyal to you as an employer because of your generosity and care for them.
Now, for most of us, the power to give and create “Being There” time for others isn’t something that’s within our control, and that’s OK. What we can do is focus on doing our best to be there for the people we love. I struggle with this. Life feels full, and it’s tough to justify walking away from a hectic pace to be present with other people.
This challenge is as much for me as it is for you. In whatever stage of life you find yourself, fight to prioritize the time you need to be there. We always find ways to get off work for the big things in life, but we often forget that it’s the little things that are often the most important. We can’t be at everything for everyone, but we should prioritize being present as often as we can.
We can’t be at everything for everyone, but we should prioritize being present as often as we can. @KevinPaulScott
Maybe it’s skipping your hunting weekend to be at your son’s Friday night football game.
Maybe it’s taking your lunch break to catch the end of your daughter’s school program.
Maybe it’s trading in a personal day to celebrate your spouse’s recent promotion.
Maybe it’s staying a few extra hours at work tonight, so tomorrow morning, you can take breakfast to your grandmother who’s in the hospital.
Being there isn’t always easy, and sometimes, it’s not even possible, but prioritizing time to be present is crucial to protecting your most important relationships. Find ways to be there for the people you love, and if you’re able, create opportunities for other people to do the same.