They have lives. They take children to school, accompany spouses on medical visits, shop for groceries, drive the car to a mechanic for repairs, etc., etc, etc.

If you want to enjoy a high level of performance from your employees, you should recognize that work is only part of their lives. Teaching them ways to feel less guilty about working or helping them find more effective ways of working longer hours is the wrong approach.

You need to enable Ė even encourage Ė them to pay attention to their personal lives. If you do that, they will be far more productive at work, and far more loyal to your association (that goes for the CEO, too).

When I was an association CEO, an employee requested vacation time during a very busy period. I had already announced that everybody was needed on the job during this time and nobody could take time off.

I granted her request anyway, because her husband had terminal cancer and this might have been the last vacation they would ever take together (it was). I felt her personal needs were more important to all of us than were the associationís work needs.

When her husband died, she took two weeks off (I told her to take as much time as she wanted) and tried to return the paycheck I had sent her during that time, because she didnít feel she had earned it. I told her to keep it.

She told me how much it meant to her to work in a place where people cared about each other. She continued to be a loyal, productive employee because she was able to strike a satisfactory balance between her work needs and her personal life. Thatís the way it should be! Find out more.