I read this article in AdWeek about how the CEO of TBWA\Chiat\Day (an Ad Agency) doesn’t personally buy in to the “whole ‘work-life-balance’ thing” and he sent an internal memo lauding a creative team for working the weekend and skipping a bachelor party.
Here’s my problem with this. It’s one thing to tell your co-workers or other people you know that you don’t buy in to work life balance, and that work should be life to them. It’s a whole other ball of wax when that’s going to an entire agency from the CEO.
If the CEO criticizes those who find life or family more important than work, it trickles down as company culture. Like it or not, at that level, you are the highest authority, and what you think matters. What you say matters.
You may say don’t skip your daughter’s 7th birthday party, but what has been inferred from a note like this is that you should want to. It’s unfair. It’s a little cruel. It sows feelings of guilt in your employees, and and a general sense that if you’re not a workaholic, you’re not good enough. That of course is not true.
This memo is what isn’t good enough.