I posted yesterday on the work ethic required to be a star, and more importantly, the fact that I continue to run into super sharp people who say they want to be stars, but won't put in the time to outwork others and are outraged/miffed when told that's what it takes. Bottom line - if you want to be the Bono (U2) of your field, you probably shouldn't think leaving or checking out at 4:55 is your god-given right.
Tim Sacket commented with this, which I thought was significant enough to call for a post of its own:
"Interesting that as HR Pros, we are suppose to be the work-life balance gatekeepers for our organizations - yet the data shows superstars probably aren't the most balanced individuals, and as HR Pros we are suppose to be developing the most talented organization we can."
Which brings me to the question of the day: "Is HR expected to defend organizational talent from work-life encroachment issues?" I think the mindset of most organizations is yes, mainly because employee satisfaction as measured by positive engagement scores or crappy turnover stats is usually calculated by the HR department. Additionally, if the gal you work for is a slave-driver, who you gonna call with your employee relations issue? Accounting? The skip-level manager? I don't think so...
If you're having job problems, I feel bad for you son.... But here's the deal if you've got a work-life balance issue and you think I can solve it as your HR pro:
1. Like Frasier Crane, I'm listening. Good HR pros will listen a lot just to figure out what makes you tick. I'll help if I can, but the answer probably lies at the intersection of your goals, outside of work life and your personal drive.
2. I know my organization needs good 9 to 5 people. We just can't afford to have nothing but 9 to 5 people.
3. It's OK for you to be one of those 9 to 5 people. Just know that if we've reached our quota of 9 to 5 people (good thing for you that that quota hasn't really been firmed up as of yet), things might start feeling like a TV knock off of "Survivor".
5. You have to be ready for the tough love: You may need a new manager, a new job, or a new company.
Bottom line? When it comes to work/life balance issues, HR pros are therapists. We listen, and if Mommy didn't love you, we empathize. The best HR pros will give you the real deal and if necessary, tell you you're accountable for finding a balance that works for you - and the manager, company and family you work for.
We listen. You choose. Next Caller...