As many readers know, I'm a big Red Sox fan. (That might explain my current bad mood, as the possibility of a playoff berth fades away with the end of summer.) Baseball aside, I've often written about the management style and philosophy of the current team. (See "Clubhouse rules.") Here's another example, along with an explanation of the philosophy behind it.
Red Sox first-base coach Ron Johnson has been away from the team for a month. His daughter was in a horrifying accident in Tennessee, where a car hit her while she was horseback riding. Most of the details have been kept out of the media, but the girl ended up losing her leg.
Yesterday, a reporter asked general manager Theo Epstein when he thought Johnson would return. Epstein wouldn't speculate, but his answer gave great insight into how the team treats its employees:
I’ll leave that to RJ or until he lets us make some sort of public disclosure. His priority is with his family, and that’s an organizational belief, that at times of crisis, family comes first. He’s doing a great job supporting his family through this tough time.
My emphasis. The quote's from Sox beat reporter Amalie Benjamin's notebook column in The Boston Globe.
If you're an employer or a manager, ask yourself this: Do you want to be seen as having the kind of workplace where employees' families come first in times of crisis, or do you want to be seen as the kind of workplace that counts days off, demands doctors' notes, and docks pay? I don't know this for sure, but I can pretty much guarantee that the Red Sox are keeping Johnson on salary and not tracking the days he has missed.
If you haven't already, adopt a similar organizational belief. The Red Sox might be destined for third place this season, but they're showing championship-caliber managerial skills here.