I was on the radio last week, and on the show we discussed a recent WSJ article about Nestlé's CEO, Mark Schneider's, take on work-life balance.
Schneider believes the job comes first. He doesn't talk about what's lacking in his personal life, but figures out a system so that he has some level of fulfillment in both areas: work and life.
To be the best at anything, there is no balance. When you love something so much, you don't want to take your foot off the pedal. You run on adrenaline to be better.
An important thing for leaders to remember is that just because this is their belief or approach to work and life, doesn't mean it's right for their staff. The key for any hard charging CEO is to have compassion for the rank-in-file...to have compassionate accountability: know what your people need and when, but hold them accountable to meeting deadlines and getting the work done.
In the article, Schneider goes on to talk about the importance of work-life balance when attracting talent. Running a business is like raising children, you have to know what each employee needs to achieve and succeed.
Don't assume everyone wants work-life balance. If you get a candidate who is money motivated or wants to advance their career quickly, they're not concerned about the work-life balance programs and initiatives. They want to know about your training and development programs, or what career pathing looks like at your organization. If you assume they want work-life balance, and that's all you promote, you could turn them off because it doesn't line up with what they're looking for.
Successful careers are not a one-size-fits-all. Don't assume what one job seeker wants applies to the masses. Drill down during the interview on what the candidate is motivated by, and if doesn't match up with what your organization offers, don't try to fit a round peg into a square hole. It won't last.
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