My View

Festivals such as Divali are a time when most of us would like to be with our family. Unfortunately, this may be one of the rare times when this happens.
Particularly in India, many companies demand that employees (specially at senior levels) should put the company before the family. The specious logic seems to be that when the employee puts the company first,  the company produces higher profit than it would if this were not so.

There is no data to support such a belief. On the other hand, I am unaware of any Indian studies that would tend to show that profitability is higher in companies that allow employees to put family first. In fact, I have not found any data to show that however rare this may be, companies in India permit employees to put family first.

Common complaints are that employees with family, specially with very small children or very old parents, do not stay late enough, or often enough, and that they do not answer email after work hours. Another complaint is that sometimes employees with family needs miss key meetings.

On the other hand, does anyone at the end of his life say ” I wish I had worked long hours and spent less time with my mother?

Showing empathy for the reality of employees wanting to and being allowed to spend more time with their family is a critical way to show employees that you value them as people and not as means of production or profit. If flexibility were to be permitted to care for the family then your message would be that you value them as people.

The outcome is likely to be simple and straightforward. If you let employees put family first and control their work schedules, their commitment to you and to the organization will go up. If you take care of them, they will take care of the company and its profitability.

All views expressed are those of the author, not of SIDU or SCMHRD or Director Sheorey


– Dr. Philip Coelho

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