Employees’ personal time

We all have our personal lives, which we distinctly try and keep away from our work lives. As the popular belief goes, one should be very careful about his / her personal life and not discuss personal matters with anyone at the professional front. It also might be the case that a certain employee has an entirely different persona in the outside world. He might be the sweet and silent hardworking guy who sits next to you, doesn’t make much of an effort to talk and concentrates on delivering the best at work. But then one day you catch him at a local club in town, in high spirits, indulging in unruly behavior. Should this incident change your perception about him? Does this imply that he is not fit for the job? Should the outside life of an employee be of any concern to the employer? Does personal character and behavior determine the capability and worthiness of an employee? These are all debatable questions. While some feel that an employee’s behavior after work should have no bearing on his / her professional life, there are others who feel that there is no distinction really. Some young professionals argue that they have the right to live their personal lives on their own terms and the organization has no role to play in it.

One should keep his/her personal matters away from work life. But on the other hand, the fact remains that one’s personal and professional life cannot be separated from each other. If a person’s personal life is disturbed, it obviously would hamper his / her professional life sooner or later, she expresses. IT is important to have well defined rules stating, what is and what are not acceptable behavior outside work area. We work in a creative field and are well aware of the idiosyncrasies of the creative mind, a mind that is restless and seeks new experiences and adventures all the time. A few stray incidents of an individual employee testing his / her limits or venting after a stressful day are just good anecdotes that become part of the office folklore. We draw a line where personal idiosyncrasies start crossing the lines of professionalism. Also offensive off-duty employee behavior may provoke many skeptics to rip off the concerned organization’s reputation and challenge the credibility of its value system.

In today’s performance oriented environment organizations focus on the performance of the employees at the workplace. As long as an employee demonstrates skills required to perform his / her job well, is diligent and well behaved at the workplace he / she is fit for the job, she informs. At LG, they believe that organizational goals and targets should be of prime importance to an employee. LG does not recommend mixing professional lives of any employee with his / her personal life. As the instance regarding the misdemeanor of a particular employee goes, employer is only concerned with the employee’s behavior at work. But if an employee’s boss sees him / her misbehaving at a local club, it would give him food for thought that the employee is not as he / she pretends to be at work. He / she has suppressed his / her feelings or changed his / her behavior for reasons best known to him / her. The boss would try and probe him / her about his / her behavior to understand whether it is a temporary problem or something serious. Many organizations today have in house counselors who try to deal with personal or professional issues that the employees might have. The counselor or employer or boss may not mind going out of the way to help an employee who is going through some personal problems. But they see no improvement in his / her behavior the boss would consider and reconsider his decision about the employee before giving him / her any responsibility or a higher role.

HR managers may agree that an employee convicted of an offense committed outside work does not essentially mean that their dismissal would be fair. Termination could be fair if his / her off duty behavioral pattern begins to reflect in the workplace. If the employee becomes unsuitable to carry on with the sort of work he / she is doing, dismissal then becomes an option since the employee tends to be less productive.

As long as such kind of behavior doesn’t impact the individual or the overall outcome of the employee, he / she had the right to self expression. Individual mindsets and appreciate the freedom to make personal choices till the deliverables are aligned to company goals.

One cannot doubt the fact that an individual’s behavior and habits are pre-requisites of his / her character. But every individual also has the freedom to live his / her personal life the way he / she wants to it’s their own prerogative an they are mature to set their priorities right.

The character of an employee is of utmost importance along with his / her capability as it helps them assess his / her worthiness for the organization. Media is a demanding field where we have to constantly deal with hyper sensitive people, super sized egos stated and unstated insecurities. But on principal the commitment to deliver the best and meet deadlines, guides them all. If it is personal difficulty that an individual is going through, the counselors try to sort things out, understand the problem and work out solutions. But the counselors do have a sort of zero tolerance zones for any unbecoming behavior which compromises the dignity of other employee.

To be or not to be, is a choice that we all have to make. It is not necessary that we behave in a certain manner at all occasions. Though at work, the goal should be of delivering the best, irrespective of what the employee’s personal life demands of him.

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