Parental job satisfaction and bullying

Emma Egan

I wanted to share this podcast by Simon Sinek as he covers my favourite topic of how parents job satisfaction drives bullying tendencies of children. He talks at length about this in his podcast Love your work.

I think this topic is so important as children’s bullying, workplace engagement and retention of great people is so widely discussed yet the link between all of these differing topics does exist but hasn’t had as much attention as it deserves.

At 7;19 in the podcast Sinek says “The problem is not the schools & the problem isn’t even the parenting, the problem is the jobs the parents have. This is the importance and this is the power of the work that we do and the places we go to work”. With that in mind, it then makes us look critically at, how engagement and work satisfaction is even measured. Typically we send an annual set of questions to analyse the engagement of people at work. From there, projects follow and evaluations of the projects follow them and then by that time it is usually the following year, so another survey is generated which then has differing results and consequently projects and the cycle begins again.” There were so many things I took from this podcast but this for me, was key. So, I always wondered, why is it that we don’t have a better handle on engagement and now, in investigating the effects of engagement at home, this question is critical.

A key component of engagement has always been autonomy. People who are able to make decisions, lead, and feel trusted to make the right decisions are people who naturally feel happier at work. In the book “Work and Family–Allies or Enemies?: What Happens When Business Professionals Confront Life Choices” by Stewart D. Friedman and Jeffrey H. Greenhaus, conclusion 23 of the research stated “How fathers are treated on the job affects their parenting, because it affects their self-esteem. Grimm-Thomas and Perry-Jenkins (1994) found that fathers with more autonomy and control over their work have higher self-esteem and are less stringent parents. Grossman, Pollack & Golding (1988) found that dads with more autonomy and satisfaction on the job play longer and have a better quality of interaction with their kids”. Friedman and Greenhaus went on to find “Gilansky’s (2009) treatise shows how the quality of a parent’s job affects their children. Barling, too, has observed the impact of a parent’s job on children’s well-being” (also from conclusion 23).

As research develops in this area, it is such a great topic of conversation and hopefully, one that will be increasingly focused on as we take responsibility for our staff, their happiness at work, and how that flows to their home environments which we are understanding to have increasingly more influence on.

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