Employees are people, too. Human resources are people, too. FTEs are people, too. And, guess what? They were all people before they were employees, human resources or FTEs, and they will continue to be people long after they leave our employ.

If reminders are needed, I had two yesterday, vastly different from each other.

The first was a conversation with one person about her health. All of the applicable employee benefits and rights are being afforded her, but she was still sharing very personal concerns about her pain and the impact it is having to her whole life, not just her work. She just needed someone to listen for a few moments and understand that she is making every effort to not only come to work but to also live her life and that it is very difficult for her.

The second event was as I was leaving late last night. As I crossed an elevated walkway, I happened to notice a car parked by our main door and a man spreading red, pink and white rose petals from the vehicle to the sidewalk. Of course, curiosity about Cupid got the better of me, so I had to wait and see who the lucky lady was. The absolute delight (think squeals!) when she and a couple co-workers walked out of the building warmed my heart and made my day.

Chaos would reign if a company the size of ours didn’t have policies and procedures to help guide behaviors, positively reinforce expectations and discipline when necessary. However, we must never lose sight of the fact that we are dealing with people who have complex lives outside of the office.

That is both the opportunity and the challenge of leadership.

Tuesday Tidbits are weekly messages I send to my leadership team. They are generally short & sweet, often focused on leadership or teamwork, always positive and, hopefully, motivational. I hope you also find some meaning in them.

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