August 7, 2019

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” – 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10

Not long ago, I was sitting alone on my couch reflecting on the day, and what had transpired. It had been a long day where we had to deal with some particularly challenging staff issues. When I have these kinds of days, I like to think about how I dealt with each particular instance, and what I could have done differently, a learning experience for all.

I don’t just like to write people off, we all make mistakes, and we can all learn from those mistakes. If I see a spark of hope, or a desire to learn in an employee, and a true sign of remorse, I want to give them a chance to learn and an opportunity to teach and train them, this will definitely set them up for success instead of failure. This does not work every time, but often enough to put time and effort in to this practice. I know some of the girls who work in the children’s center need a nurturing caring person to take them under their wing and give them opportunities to grow in the child care or any profession.

In this instance the teacher had made a mistake, and we put into place an action plan for how she could succeed moving forward. She realized the mistakes she had made, and she wrote the whole plan from what she learned from our conversation. She has been a super star since this incident, and I have the utmost confidence that this will continue.

While I was reflecting, I received a text message from one of my staff that read: “This reminded me of you.”

Today I asked an employee to see me regarding their high absence. They were on 6 occasions in 12 months. They were for silly reasons-flu day here, headache there. As per policy, that’s grounds for dismissal.

 I asked them to sit down. I didn’t bring the policy with me. I didn’t even bring a notebook. They were tense, nervous and they were defensive. I sat down next to them and said, “Talk to me, what’s been going on? “and, after a few minutes, they told me. They didn’t really have flu, nor a headache. They said how they’re feeling run down, how days have become a struggle and they don’t really know why. And after a frank and honest chat about the ups and downs of life, a couple of laughs and a bit of a cry we got somewhere. I gave them some resources to turn to, and a referral for support and positive outlook for the future.

I can’t stress this enough to Managers-don’t blindly follow the policies. Don’t blindly follow the Return to Work forms and the Absence Management Policies. They’re there as guidelines. Sit down and have an actual conversation with your employees. Develop that relationship with them and actually help them. You’ll have a happier workforce, committed employees and less absence. It’s win-win for everyone when you care. Author Unknown

 What a blessing to receive this message just at the right time! Have you ever needed a positive message, and it came just at the right moment in time? Have you sent a positive message to someone who maybe needing your encouragement? A positive word is a blessing.

 Gabrielle Moon, Executive Director St. Luke’s Children’s Centers