Let’s not even get into corporate jargon around leadership, culture and engagement. Instead, let’s reflect on some old school wisdom.
A wise person once said that the best thing a father can do for their children is to love their mother.
Why is this so important in the make-up of a family unit? Yes, it is clearly a good place to start for a healthy relationship between mum and dad.
But how about the message it sends to the kids’. How does this example of kindness and compassion from a father to a mother (or vice versa) extend to the way our children treat others… And as importantly, how they expect to be treated by others.
Yes, who you are surrounded by is who you become, so in a family situation, how fortunate children are when their parents treat each other with love and kindness.
Another wise person also said that no matter what happens in life, our children should always feel safe.
Well, that is kind of obvious is it not? Of course we want our children to feel safe. Those of us with a teenage child who comes home late at night, know the stressful feeling of wondering if everything is OK.
But what about the simple acts of kindness like making our children feel safe asking us tricky questions, or feeling comfortable to admit their fault. It’s a different form of safety then simply physical safety. But is this not still safety?
So where is all this going and what has this to do with my business or my working life?
In a word.. Everything. It has everything to do with the very essence of ‘send a message from the top down’.
In the same way that father treats mother well, so too should a CEO treat their people well. In the same way that we make our children feel safe, so too should a CEO make their people feel safe. It starts from the top and that sets the tone for the rest of the organisation.
Now, we are not suggesting that just because a CEO does the right thing that they are immune to workplace incidents. But what we are suggesting is that it is a very good starting point.
And of course, when there is a top down approach to things such as safety, privacy, professional conduct and human rights, then an organisation is also investing in the necessary education and also have policies in place to ensure that not only are they meeting their legal requirements for workplace compliance but they are going well beyond this.
When an organisation truly invests in making their workplace better, safer and fairer, productivity sky rockets and the hidden costs of non-compliance diminish.
Moving beyond parenting examples, as the final blog in this series, perhaps a nice parting thought is in the words of Sir Richard Branson.