Elder Care: What is the Employer’s Responsibility to Help Support Employees Who are Juggling it All?
Although I’ve shared a fair amount about me in my blog articles, this is more of a personal post than I typically do. I was going back through my 2020 calendar the other day and reflecting on my time spent this year. I counted the number of medical appointments that I took my mother to. It totaled 81. Yes, you read that right…eighty-one medically related appointments so far this year. All for a variety of things.
I left my CHRO job early last year. I worked for a large hospital system and I’ve often thought this year, as the U.S. has tried to handle a global pandemic, how would I have juggled my executive responsibilities and all of my mom’s needs had I stayed? At the time that I left my job, I was barely hanging on as it was. Having hit burnout myself, dealing with being the medical POA for my mother and all of her medical needs as she aged, I could no longer juggle the demands of my job along with the needs of my family and it was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back, so I threw in the towel on my corporate life and focused my attention on my family.
Organizational culture is squishy. It’s elusive. It’s hard to define. Organizational culture is a living thing that is always changing. That also means it can be influenced – either positively or negatively. Organizations need to be thoughtful about developing their culture. That takes some expertise and intentionality in doing so.
Early on in my career a wise consultant told me it takes seven years to change a culture. In my 25 years of human resources, organizational change and leadership experience, I have found that to be true. You can certainly start to see the effects of intentional change earlier than that, but to really make a culture change stick, seven years is about right. True culture change won’t depend on a leader to sustain it. You’ll know when it sticks if a leader can walk away and the changes are lasting. They’ve become systematically embedded in what is happening throughout the organization. It takes intentional effort, consistency and time to make happen.
Laurie is an experienced Human Resources executive who is passionate about organizational culture, creating great workplaces and employee engagement.