Sunday, May 5, 2013

Work/Life Balance committee told to work late, weekends to get report done

The Executive Director of Metro’s largest charity has told her Work/Life Balance Committee to get its report done by next week, even if that means they have to come in nights and weekends to do it.

The Work/Life Balance Committee was created a month ago to look at the poor morale and complaints about working conditions at the Metro Community Trust. Executive Director Shelia Snidely says the Committee was a recommendation by the Operations Committee of the Board.

“We’ve had a high turnover in the last few years and we don’t know why,” said Snidely. “That’s why we created the committee. To get some answers.”

Made up of managers and staff, the Committee conducted surveys and held town hall meetings with the Trust’s 100 staff members. Expert consultants were brought in to help create the new plan, which was supposed to be submitted last Friday.

“I told them that they would have to do their committee work as well as their normal workload and I gave them a generous deadline for getting it done – a week. And what do we have? Nothing. I can’t expect all this work they have piling up to take care of itself, you know. So, I told them to come in nights and weekends to get it done,” said Snidely.

The Committee only had one week to write the report and present it at the Board. Committee members tried to fit the report-writing into their 30 minute lunch-break and their strictly monitored ten minute daily coffee break. However, time grew short and the deadline was missed.

“The first thing I did when I heard that they needed more time to figure out how to write the part about reducing stress was to go to their time-cards and see whether they were in fact working all 7.5 hours a day,” said Snidely. “I found that several of them were in fact punching in a bit late on some mornings and leaving a few minutes early. I told them they’d have to make up that time as well as get the report done.”

Committee members say they tried to get the report done, but were challenged by a number of non-work distractions. Some of them came down with the flu. Others had to take their children to medical appointments. One member had a death in the family. Snidely says such excuses aren’t good enough for the Trust.

“I’d like to help some of these people, but I can’t have everyone taking time off to be sick or bury their parents who were killed in a zoo stampede all the time. There`d be no one here and I`d have to do all their work. And that isn`t fair to me, ” she said.

The Committee has vowed to work as long as it takes to complete the report by the new deadline, no matter what the personal hardship.

“I think they got the message. I`m confident the report will get done,” said Snidely.

“`Honestly, I have to just nag, nag, nag to get these people to do anything…even write a lousy report on balancing work and the rest of the life!”