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Compassion for Pets & People

I looked at the calendar and noticed it was National Love Your Pet Day! It makes me laugh, because anyone observing the “holiday” likely already loves their pet and treats them in ways that show it. In the last several years, there’s certainly been an increase in animals dressed for the various holidays/celebrations; animals carted around in strollers; restaurants who welcome animals in their outdoor seating; hotels welcoming pets; and the list goes on.

Full disclosure, I have a dog, Maya, who undeniably falls under the “spoiled rotten” category. Today, she’s gone from sleeping in the bedroom to letting me know she was ready for a treat to sun bathing outside. Life for her isn’t exactly grueling.

But my blogs are about employment, right? And what does this have to do with it?

Why is it that people often seem to have more compassion for their pets than other people? Now, I do realize there are reasons it can seem easier (i.e., dogs don’t talk back and provide unconditional love, for instance), and I’m not going into all the valid reasons people love their pets, but I do think we need to rethink how we treat other people.

If we feel good because we do things for our pets to ensure that they are healthy and happy, why can’t we apply the same principle to staff? If we provide our employees with the tools they need to do their jobs and then clearly communicate our expectations, shouldn’t this enrich all our lives?

We so often make assumptions that our staff should understand our needs or the companies needs and then we’re frustrated when they don’t.

If we were better at clearly establishing our expectations up front, it should help. In addition, if we don’t encourage questions, whether it’s because we are “so” busy there’s no time, or show our frustration when staff asks something or, in some cases, even tell staff to “figure it out on their own (as long as they do it the way we want)”, then it’s our fault when things don’t go as well as they could. In addition, there are times we ask for a project to be completed, but we don’t want to hear that staff don’t have the resources needed. Our expectations don’t change, which isn’t always fair.

People are complex, but that’s the beauty of it. We need to view each other with compassion and gratitude for all we provide. We need to show staff our thankfulness for the things they do and clarify our expectations when things go wrong. Employee Appreciation Day is coming soon (March 3), but we need to show and truly feel that appreciation much more frequently!

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