By Irene Kinuthia.
Up until recently, the family has been viewed by most companies as a competitor. The family steals time from the organisation, takes away the employees attention and basically interferes with the efficiency of the organisation.
With time, it is becoming clearer that the family actually enriches the workplace. Not only does it provide the support system that an employee needs in order to be effective, but recent studies have shown that the family is the most effective school for competencies.
Many of the competencies that companies value and never part from is the school curriculum. The school environment may provide opportunities to acquire some of the competencies but by and large, these competencies are learnt in the home and later in the workplace. Since both family and work offer opportunities for human and professional development, they should be seen as mutually enriching rather than conflicting. Companies who have forward thinking leaders are now able to connect the lack of time for family life with the type of employee joining the company in recent times. Naming them by generations and studying their common characteristics is only the beginning. We need to get to the bottom of the issue and ask- what has changed? Technology is one of the cited changes and we cannot ignore the impact of the fast growth in the quality and variety of technology. What can be questioned is the persons ability to manage and tame their use of technology. This requires us to look at the competencies people need to cope with changes, is their age and time, be it the invention of an automobile, a television or a mobile phone. Each generation gets its own share of inventions to manage. What may have changed is the training ground for the children as they grow.
Opportunities abound in the home front to learn the skills of communication, empathy, delegation, negotiation, team work etc. But it takes time and energy to make all this happen. Are companies ready to facilitate for their employees to have this time and energy to pass on these skills to the next generation? Let us look at the top ten most valued competencies and see how the family is best placed to teach them.
To be continued…