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June 25, 2022

The door is always open

by 

Andrew Beaumont

I very much dislike Father’s Day.  It is always a horrible time of year for me.

Not only is my father no longer with us, I am also estranged from my own sons.

I know many fathers are in a similar position as me, and my thoughts are with them. I can’t claim to know how they feel as we all react differently.

TWO BECAME FIVE

 

In 2001, my then wife and I adopted two boys – brothers –after we were told that we couldn’t have children.  Four years later, Noah arrived naturally.

Following our divorce in 2011, I had a few years of decent contact with the boys despite the geography (they lived in my home town of Dronfield).

In January 2016, the eldest and youngest told me they didn’t want to see me again - I haven’t spoken to them since.  The middle son – after a short time living with me – hasn’t spoken to me since 2019.

 

NO CARDS PLEASE

 

As I said, I dislike Father’s Day.  However, as with any celebratory day, the commercial rewards are huge for many retailers.  

Many of the businesses promoting their services (for example,the greeting cards companies) have the option to unsubscribe from all communications about the day.

It's a button that I use, and I appreciate having that option.  I don’t want the constant reminders in my inbox, and it is great that some organisations have realised that it is not a universal celebration.

 

INTERNAL DEMONS

 

I am not writing this blog for sympathy - I am writing it to demonstrate that we never know what demons people have internally.

I have friends who are going through similar issues. I would never claim to know how they feel. Individuals all react differently to situations.

As leaders of organisations, this is a critical point about employee wellbeing.

My story isn’t unique and there are a number of reasons why an employee could be hurting inside. If they don’t seem themselves, ask if they are okay.

Please think about your teams and the people around you.  If something seems out of the ordinary, ask the questions and treat them as individuals - you never know what someone is going through.

I have seen many issues across HR that would have been resolved earlier simply with a conversation.

 

THE DOOR IS ALWAYS OPEN

 

Your staff are all individuals and you should treat them as such.  I always say your people are your biggest asset, and they should always come first.

Many leaders of organisations say they have an open-door policy.  In practice, this isn’t always the case.

My own team know that they can contact me and share their concerns any time.

Two-way dialogue is important, and your team should be comfortable knowing that they have an outlet for their thoughts.  Studies have shown that happiness and productivity are directly related, and having conversations is important for both.

I hope my children know that my door is always open too, andI am sure that one day they will walk back through it.

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