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Paula Marshall's Blog

The musings of a female CEO, trying to change the way business is done.

Tag Archives: work-life balance

Hello Blogosphere!

I would like to announce a new collaboration with Patricia Raskin of Patricia Raskin Positive Living Network. Starting April 25th, I will have a guest spot on Patricia’s show once a month. I will be talking about how to maintain your self and your soul while working in corporate America. This is a very exciting collaboration, and you can listen to Patricia’s show any time online through the link above.

If you listen live, there’s a chance you could win a free set of my new “Find Your Peace at Work” Inspirational Cards!

Here is a show that I was featured on with Patricia and one of her other hosts, Brian Benson. Please enjoy!

Paula Marshall on the G. Brian Benson Show

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“The misnomer is that for people to be proficient and to rise to the top of their profession, they must be driven. It has been my experience that inspiration is more enduring than drive and that balance is what allows people to pursue excellence over a long period of time rather than getting burned out by always feeling driven.” Finding the Soul of Big Business, pp. 103

The way we speak about traditional corporate jobs is always in terms of drive. “Wow, she can really burn the candle at both ends!”  “I saw you working late last night, great job!” “Thanks for coming in on Sunday to get that project done!” It seems that we only value employees who are willing to go above and beyond, those who we say are “driven” “dedicated” “intense” and “passionate.” The truth is these employees are most often the ones who suffer from burn out. They are ashamed to come forward and say that they are tired, overworked and stressed. They have build up a reputation for working harder, and so they must live up to their own standard.

When we live in such a manic business world, driven by stock prices, profits and dividends, we tend to create a manic working  environment. An environment in which it’s every man for himself, climbing the ladder to the top, stepping on whoever gets in the way. We reward this kind of thinking, and we reward those who sacrifice time with their families, because it means they really have their head “in the game.”

What does this kind of thinking get us? Disgruntled spouses and children, divorces, loss of friendships, mental breakdowns, and health problems. It’s been medically proven what stress does to the body, and not only that but the company risks losing a competent, dedicated employee to burn out.

The best way to avoid burn out, as upper management, is to inspire our employees. Inspiration is a much longer term fuel than just driving on for self-improvement purposes. When someone is driven, it is usually to further their own self interests. Promotions, pay raises or pats on the back are what they’re looking for. However, when a person is inspired, either by your mission or by the way you do business, they will work hard toward that common inspiration. This type of fuel will burn for far longer than just that of self-advancement.

Then the initial question is, what can you do to get your employees inspired? Here are a few ideas:

  • Initiate a volunteer program, such as delivering for Meals on Wheels or Tutoring in local schools. This will help your employees feel as though they’re giving back, and also see how fortunate they are. It also helps them feel as if they’re working for a greater purpose. But, you can’t punish them for being less productive due to having to devote hours to volunteering. It will all come back to you in the long run.
  • Promote Life-Work Balance. At Bama, we have classes that instruct our employees in having a more fulfilling family or home life. Encourage them to be social, have dinner with each others families, and be there for their children’s activities.
  • Allow Flex-Time. Flex-Time is a program which allows employees to clock in hours whenever they are most comfortable, which allows them to fit in family responsibilities. As long as the employee reaches 40 hours in a week, then they are within their Flex-Time.

These are just a few suggestions to help employees avoid burn out, and lead more enriching and full lives.

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