By the time you all read this, my father will have turned 80 years old. We will have had a party for him at his “farm,” attended by 70 or so friends and family. One of them is a friend from his childhood in the Bronx, a couple are guys he’s known from coin-op, and some are even friends of mine that he’s become close with. Most of our work family will be there –– Barry and Nancy, Key and Jay –– and of course my own family, my husband Ron and Dad’s two grandsons Jack and James. My mother’s even coming. I’m so grateful that they can be friends and enjoy each other’s company.
Family has been on all of our minds lately at RePlay. This issue features the Corley’s and their family-owned chain of bowling entertainment centers. The May issue featured our salute to the Shaffers and their family of dedicated employees. We put our heart and soul into making that book…we put our hearts into making ALL of our issues…but this one in particular because we know the value of a family business.
It’s not just the fact that I work with my dad…Key and Barry have been here since I was 12 years old! They’re as much a part of our family as any blood relative. It’s the same with the Shaffers. Scott, Andy and I work with our dads, but it’s also the rest of the staff that keeps it feeling like a family affair. In this industry or any other, I think that’s an invaluable thing to have. We work hard for each other and we pick up the slack when someone’s sick, wants to go on vacation or just needs a “mental health day.”
I love that about this industry. So many people I talk to at trade shows and on the phone have similar work communities. Aren’t we just crazy lucky? Last month was Mental Health Awareness Month, a subject close to my heart. Having a work family to share the good times, as well as the struggles, is a crucial tool in your “wellness arsenal.” How have you promoted a solid work environment in your business? If you weren’t around, would your employees sing your praises or wish they worked somewhere else? Cultivating a supportive work environment reaps benefits for everyone, even the boss!
And speaking of the “boss,” Happy Birthday, Pop! I love you more!
–– Ingrid Adlum Milkes