As we continue to hear about the families and friends being torn apart by the deceptive and manipulative seductions of Islamic State, it has become all too apparent that we are in the midst of a crisis that changes everything we as employers know about the work environment and work-life balance.
The decisions that we make and actions we take to ensure our employees maintain healthy balance between work and life are no longer based on our knowledge of the collective lifestyle choices. There are no best practices for this new threat, and the statistical data has only begun to hit charts. We are forced to rethink how we behave to a growing crisis that, even as a country, we have yet to understand fully or subsequently have measures in place to respond.
So what does this mean in relationship to work-life balance and for the employer who has employed a family member or friend of someone directly tied to this mayhem? For starters, get to know your employees beyond their pay rates and titles. All employees desire a personal connection so pay attention, take a human interest and go above and beyond to help personally. Some employers say they want to do more ‘human' things for their employees but feel hamstrung by government rules and regulations. True, this can be a challenge if you feel caught up in the swirling vortex of never-ending control. But, I remind you that often it's the smallest act that has the greatest impact. Then be sure you have the resources and programs in place to address this new crisis head-on. Review your current employee assistance programs and offer some education and training on this subject matter.
Organizations that don't have designated staff handling such work-life balance issues can seek outside help from subject matter experts or consider pulling together a small group of talent to examine the possibilities and decide what works best for the organization and employees.
While our government is sorting through the balance of our constitutional order, the ongoing threat of IS recruiters who cowardly prey on the vulnerability and innocence of our future generations remains. We all hope for a better life. What employers do now to help their employees understand and navigate through this new crisis can shorten the recovery period and possibly contribute to eliminating the threat to the organization's most valuable asset.