What is the image of an ideal employee? Is it someone who works 50 to 60 hours per week, answers work phone calls and emails over the weekend, during family vacations and on holidays? Who is the ideal employee? A man or a woman? Enterprises TV scrutinizes the image of ideal employees.
During the 20th Century, men were thought of the ideal employee because they were able to devote a significant portion of their lives to their jobs or careers. It was assumed that they would do whatever it took to climb the corporate ladders. In fact, they often did. Looking back, the higher the position in a company the man held, the harder and longer he worked to go higher. Mid-level managers were most often the employee types to do this. It was also assumed that the women in their lives would be the primary caretakers, which they were.
Women, during that time, who worked long hours, traveled when needed, missed family milestone events, and other important moments in life, were not so respectfully viewed. They were seen as not caring, not loving, and not capable. Yet, there she was doing everything a man in an equal position was doing.
Flash forward to today where the real career struggle for work-life balance is taking place. Traditional beliefs are still strong where women are more likely to take advantage of work place policies regarding family needs than men. Whereas men are more likely to go about taking time off for children’s games, recitals, illnesses more quietly than women. They may ask a colleague to cover for them rather than take time off.
If we are to define the ideal employee in today’s workplace, we would consider someone who is loyal to the company, gets their work done every day, and still knows the value of family time. Business leaders who show by example that life is not just about the job or company can carve a good work culture for their staff.