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4D Leadership

4D Leadership – Competitive Advantage Through Vertical Leadership Development

Twenty years ago the accumulation of skills, knowledge and experience (‘horizontal development’) was sufficient for business success. Today, it’s not. 4D Leadership – Competitive Advantage Through Vertical Leadership Development, offers a new approach of ‘vertical development’.

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Expectant employee? Celebrate, don’t commiserate

Alan and Anya

Baby Anya was a wonderful new arrival for the Complete Coherence family – her mum is our office manager. Here she is with our CEO. Anya is the inspiration for this blog about how we view pregnancy as employers.  

Sharing the news that you’re expecting a baby with family and friends is almost always exciting and joyous. It can be a very different experience when you tell your employer. I’ve heard many women talk about how much they were dreading telling their boss. They were anticipating, with some justification, a negative reaction. It might have been coated in a smile and polite words of congratulations, but fundamentally the exciting news was viewed by the employer as a problem they really didn’t need. 

The truth is it doesn’t have to be that way. As an employer, you can choose how you respond to the news that your employee is expecting a baby. Many employers choose to think only of the negative – it will disrupt the business, we don’t know if she’ll come back, we’re a small business and we can’t cope with the loss of a key member of staff. It’s all about the hassle, aggravation and disruption.

Instead, why not choose to take a different perspective; a broader and more positive view? First, consider the employee and how great the experience of becoming a parent is for that person’s development. More than that, the business can benefit too. When Anya’s mum was expecting, we took the opportunity to think about what the business needed. We could use the opportunity to make some changes that would set the business up for the future.

Rebecca was in the role of PA to our CEO when she announced her pregnancy. Together we explored what her new working arrangements might be on her return to work and also what changes the organisation needed. We were, and continue to be, a growing organisation that is constantly reviewing the business requirements and it was during these conversations that we developed a new role of Office Manager. This role enabled Rebecca to bring her extensive experience of Complete Coherence and all its systems and processes back to the workplace and maximised her skillset while fulfilling her need for a more flexible way of working that a PA role didn’t allow.  A win-win situation all round.

So, the next time a member of staff approaches with the wonderful news that they are to be parents, just stop and take time to think about the positive changes you can make as a result of this news.

On a personal level, it’s lovely to see someone we care about so happy. From a business perspective, it has provided us with a great opportunity to make enhancements.   

I hope these musings give other organisations the impetus to think more positively about maternity leave. It really can be a force for good. We’re a richer organisation for having taken a positive approach – not only emotionally, but also financially, when you consider the costs of finding new talent that we will have saved by keeping our employee happy and retained.  It all comes down to how you choose to respond.

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Carol Evans

Carol is passionate about making a difference and ensuring that Complete Coherence has the best practitioners to meet our clients needs.

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