5 Ways CEOs Can Better Balance Their Business and Family Life
Finding The Illusive Balance Between Work and Family Life
CEOs endure an incredible amount of pressure – both from the business end of the spectrum and from the family side. While the needs of the company always seem to take precedent over the wants of the family, few CEOs of retirement age profess that they wish they’d spent more time at work and less time with the family. Rather, the majority claims that if they had focused on creating a more harmonious balance between work time and home time, they’d have been more successful in their careers. The following are five ways that CEOs can better balance their business and family time:
- Exercise at work – While the benefits of exercise are undisputed, the mental clarity and sense of physical well being that comes from a good cardiovascular workout or weight training session can be incredibly beneficial. CEOs need to stay in good shape to counter grueling schedules and long hours, and the stress relieving benefits of working out can help balance the inevitable mental strains that C-level executives face.
- Block out 90-120 minutes per day – It is common to want to cram meetings, calls, and collaboration time into every thirty-minute time block in the calendar. Better yet, reserve or “gray out” 90-120 minutes out of each day. Inevitably, these timeframes will be devoted to a variety of tasks that would have been later hours or completed at home – on family time.
- Schedule Appropriately – Understanding at which point in the day one is most effective can enhance efficiency and creativity. Some CEOs are “morning people,” while others work well into the wee hours of the night. Understanding when the best work occurs is paramount to ensuring that the CEO’s schedule is appropriately constructed.
- Pick one day and work from home – Working from home has been proven to actually increase the amount of real work that is accomplished. Depending on the home work environment, distractions can be minimized and real, focused work can take place. Plus, the CEO can take a couple hours off during the middle of the day to have lunch with the family, pick the kids up at school, or simply connect with someone outside of the work zone. One of the best pieces of advice for the CEO who wants to try working from home one day per week is to focus on spending a couple of hours thinking, rather than working, on that one home-based day. CEOs don’t typically get enough time to think and are always challenged to put in long days of work.
- Unplug a few times per year and bond with family– Easier said than done for most C-levels, but by making a conscious choice to ignore emails, texts, routine conference calls, and other work-related interferences for a few days or even a week at a time, the CEO will find increased clarity and more enjoyment of the family time at hand.
CEOs are tasked with creating and facilitating the vision of the company. They are relied upon for guidance and must be accessible to leaders within the organization around the clock. That said, CEOs are people – just like anyone else. They need to take care of themselves if they want to take care of others. By understanding the importance of physical health, mental well being, and effective time management principles, CEOs will be able to more effectively handle the challenges of balancing work responsibilities with family time.
How to Attract the Best Employees
Your Employees Define Your Organization – It Is Crucial To Attract The Right Ones!
Attracting the best and brightest of employees is a learned process. While gut instincts will get a hiring manager only so far, creating a company culture that respects the individual, provides appropriate levels of compensation, and recognizes employees for their achievements is the key to attracting the best employees.
How Does Your Brand Affect Your Ability To Attract Talent?
Your company has a brand. The values, beliefs, and motivations of your organization are on display for the entire world to see. Companies that have a reputation for rewarding employees, fostering creativity, and keeping work/life balance in check are more apt to attract candidates who want to work hard and commit to a career. Understanding how your industry and your current employees perceive your organization is important to establishing your brand identity. Have a reputation as a tough place to work with little creative reward? Good luck persuading top talent to enter your ranks – even if the pay is higher!
Innovative Compensation and Benefits Helps To Recruit Innovators
It takes more than just offering a healthy paycheck to an employee – try structuring pay and benefits in a creative way! For instance, structured incentive plans based on productivity or sales are pretty popular these days. Try rewarding employees with time off to spend on philanthropic activities. These can quickly become bonding moments among staff members and contributes to a positive image for the company. Actual paid incentive shouldn’t be compromised, so you’ll want to layer in paid time off as appropriate.
Another way to attract top candidates is by offering tailor-made benefits packages. Bringing on a staff member with school-aged kids? Try offering paid tutoring classes for the kids, or reward the employee with one set day per week where they are guaranteed to be off a few hours early – this way they can spend quality time with the family. Finding rewards that are tangible to spouses or immediate family members is also a great way to build support for the company at home. For example, your company could provide a three or four day paid family vacation for those who are achieving a determined performance standard. This paid vacation would be a motivator for not just the employee but the spouse or family, as well. These outside-the-box benefits are game changers when seeking top talent.
Don’t Wait – Find The Right Person!
While the ideas mentioned above are certainly important to consider when recruiting for top talent, keep in mind that the number one rule of attracting the best employees is to go out and find them! Arrange or attend job fairs, network with recruiters and talent managers, and advertise in trade papers or on sites that are respected within your industry. The talent is out there and by reinforcing the solidity of your brand, being innovative in terms of pay and benefits and work/life balance and hours, you’ll no doubt attract committed and dedicated employees.
How to Create a Winning Company Culture
Creating a Winning Company Culture Is Vital To Running A Successful Business!
Your company culture may be determined by directly asking your employees. The responses gleaned by asking, “What does our company stand for?” can provide input as to where your company is going, how your employees feel about their jobs, what your position is in the marketplace, and what your long term prospects appear to be to your workers. Company culture can be, at times, fairly intangible. Though it may seem like an organization is just naturally a “better place to work,” the steps that it takes to achieve such a reputation are quite deliberate. The common values, visions, and norms highly successful organizations are the result of lots of planning, implementation of ideas, and self-assessments. The following sections outline six key concepts that can help your company to create a winning culture:
Hire For Attitude, Not Aptitude – Then Train!
A well-respected, international organization promotes a simple “tie-breaker” when faced with two similarly qualified candidates. The message is to hire the candidate who smiles more during the interview. This is a simple distillation of “hiring for attitude… and not aptitude.” That said, it is nearly impossible to instill a good personality in an introverted employee, while a company is certainly able to train most candidates around the skills required of the position.
Establish and Communicate The Vision
Employees will work toward goals if they are clear, so part of creating a winning culture is defining what a “win” looks like! Leaders must establish clearly defined, measurable, and achievable goals that exist within a timeframe. For example, ABC organization is seeking to achieve a 10% increase in YOY revenues, which represents five additional sales per employee per month, and is seeking to recognize this increase by the end of Q4 of the current year. Ideally, employees should understand not only this this overall goal, but also what their additional activities and deliverables need to be on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis, and the timeframe in which this goal must be met. It is also vital that they see the benefit to achieving this goal – both on an individual and at the corporate level.
Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone – Be Vulnerable
A winning culture is more easily adopted by leaders who have confidence in themselves, and by those who are willing to push the limits of their comfort zone. Ask your employees for feedback, act on those concerns, and foster a sense of community among your teams. Leading with the heart creates a culture in which employees feel that their thoughts and opinions are valued and appreciated.
Focus On A Few “Must Do’s”
Your company must determine what its “must-do’s” are. While creating a list of priorities is important, it is vital to narrow it down to the non-negotiable items and to clearly communicate these to your teams. Employees tend to thrive in environments that have boundaries – where employees at all levels play on the same field.
Create Bonding Rituals – No Winners Or Losers
One of the most overlooked facets to creating a winning culture is to establish bonding rituals among your staff. This can be as simple as team assignments during new employee orientations to elaborate yearly retreats that focus on recharging your team. Bonding rituals reinforce the notion of team, and also provide a great way to test your employees and gauge different personality types.
Become A Coach – Not Just a Boss Or Leader
Most effective leaders today agree that instilling a coaching philosophy at the workplace is vital. A winning company culture requires coaches who are invested in the success and development of their teams. Good leaders take people where they want to be, great coaches take their employees where they ought to be.
Company culture can be fairly intangible and transparent, yet it is one of the most important components of any business. Establish it early, live it daily, and you’ll reap the benefits of better employee retention and satisfaction, higher company performance, and a stellar reputation in your field.
6 Keys Every C-Level Executive Needs To Know About Social Media
Every sixty seconds, one hundred hours of video are uploaded to YouTube, seven hundred YouTube video links are shared on Twitter, nearly six hundred new websites are created, two million new searches are Googled, and hundreds of thousands of images are shared via Snapchat, Tumblr, and Pinterest. In a single day, Facebook users watch five hundred years of YouTube videos. With social media usage soaring to record levels, one thing is certain: social media is here to stay.
When social media users Google your company name, what are they finding? How can you use LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other social media tools to achieve greater success and significance? Stacy Donovan Zapar, CEO of Tenfold Social, and Sarah Hardwick, CEO of Zenzi Communications, answer that question–and many others–in a presentation geared specifically towards CEOs, partners, presidents, and founders.
Browse their presentation for a treasure trove of social media tips that will help you manage your personal reputation online, build your professional network, increase your company’s positive exposure, and steer your organization to greater success.
Stacey Donovan Zapar | CEO, Tenfold Social www.tenfoldsocial.com
Sarah Hardwick | CEO, Zenzi Communications www.zenzi.com