21 March 2024 |

πŸ““ navigating neglect

By Hebba Youssef

✍🏽 How do you address the CEO and COO of a company that are reactionary and rude to staff when they are legitimately injured or sick? They get so frustrated about things outside of their control and then take it out on the staff. They create false narratives in their heads about the staff and refuse to accept anything different.

Context: It is a small company of about 40 employees but only 9 full-time employees in the home office where the CEO and COO also live (they are co-owners and wife + husband).

πŸ“£ Heather Weidekamp, open to new opportunities:

Wow! What a tough situation.

I think you should lean in to what you have already identified, that these situations are out of their control. Let that be the target of the feedback or training that you do with them. In my experience, if you can get them to self-identify this it can go a long way. Ask them to put themselves in their employee’s shoes, take themselves out of the CEO/COO seat and look at the situation with a different mindset. You could also do an activity with them where you encourage them to come up with every worst case scenario that could happen (ie: someone misses work, this means their interviewing for another job, an important client gets missed, the building catches on fire, etc etc), just let them run with it and keep asking “how does this affect you/the business?”. Hopefully this will lead them to realize that their false narratives are more disruptive than helpful.

Good luck!

✍🏽 Travel for work on a Sunday (a full 10-12 hours of airplane travel). The response for getting a day off before or after, β€œsure take the day but make sure you’re available for meetings and around your phone.” What is the right thing here?

Context: I travel for work a lot, (50-70%) so traveling itself is normal, but during the week. Large publicly traded corporation in Agriculture industry, but not directly working with animals (ie. Not raising or caring for animals directly).

πŸ“£ Taylor Missal, Senior People Operations Manager at Context Travel:

If traveling on a Sunday is necessary to be on the ground Monday for work-related activities, a day should absolutely be granted WITHOUT expectation that they stay close to the phone or available for meetings. I could see an exception if an employees is choosing to travel on a Sunday as personal preference, to do personal things ahead of work, etc, but if it’s the only way to be available when needed, traveling for work IS work.

πŸ“£ Kendra Silvestri, Director of Operations at FreshCut Paper:

It would depend on the PTO policy but in the past we would offer a comp day for every weekend day spent traveling or at a trade show. The employees usually take the day off before or after their trip, especially if there is an early morning or overnight flight. Currently, we have a flexible PTO policy so there are no specific comp days accrued. We do certainly encourage the employees that travel to take time to rest when they return.

At a previous company, I have seen the policy state that if the role explicitly requires travel, then occasional weekend travel is just an expected part of the role. Thankfully I am seeing that less and less as companies are focused more on employee well being.