Bernie Reifkind, a recruiting executive and CEO, recently had an eye-opening experience at work that proves a little compassion can go a long way, especially for parents. In a now-viral LinkedIn post, Bernie explained what happened when he walked into his office only to discover one of his employees — who is also a mother — crying at her desk.
"Silently she was sobbing at her desk, early at about 7:45 a.m. I asked her if everything was OK. She told me that her child was sick and that she had been up all night. Bags under her eyes," he wrote. "I asked her 'So, what are you doing here at the office?' She said that she had run out of 'sick days' and could not afford to miss another day."
Rather than having her work the day upset and exhausted, Bernie made the executive decision to encourage his employee to take the day off. While this process might not work for all companies, the fact that Bernie assured the mom her job was secure shows how important kindness is.
"I sent her home and promised that she would get paid," he said. "In addition, I wrote her a check on the spot for extra money to alleviate her immediate financial worry. She was incredibly grateful. To this day, she is my best employee not just because of her talent but her loyalty."
Now, Bernie is encouraging other managers to recognize that employees have a lot of their plates, regardless of if they're parents or not. "Employers, please understand that most people are carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders," he said. "Burning the candle at both ends. Trying to make ends meet. Kids, homework, spouses, significant others, elder parents, mortgage payments, auto repairs. The relentlessness of life."
His biggest takeaway? Recognize that even the most hardworking workers have crises come up. "People are worried about their jobs. PLEASE reassure your hard working employees that their jobs are secure, whenever possible," he said. "Loyalty goes both ways."