For CEO and father of seven Nate Quigley, family has been the key to his business’ success.
That’s partly because, as the founder of a start-up called Chatbooks, an app that helps parents create photo books, Quigley has applied his parenting skills to the workplace and specifically to how he manages his employees.
Quigley, who has founded and led other start-ups, says that he has gotten better at working with personalities of all types thanks to lessons learned from his large family. His experience having to be flexible as a parent, he writes in a guest post for CNBC, has made him more flexible as a manager.
“For us, time spent with family is coaching a Little League game on a Tuesday afternoon, running carpool pick-up and heading to school plays on any given day,” he writes. “Our seven kids have taught me that every individual is unique, and I’ve learned from them that everyone needs different incentives, support and motivation to succeed.”
“I’ve adapted this philosophy to running Chatbooks: Just like with kids, there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to managing employees,” he writes. “The best way to support a team at work is to look at someone’s whole life, which can mean focusing on family.”
Parenthood has also informed some crucial choices he has made at the office. Take, for instance, his approach to allowing employees to work from home: Chatbooks employees can do their jobs remotely and also enjoy flexible hours.
“And to further reinforce our family-first policy, we expanded our family leave policy to provide equal benefits to all staff, including four weeks of fully paid new parent leave for both men and women, whether they are full-time or part-time,” he writes.
His offers a generous maternity leave policy too: Female employees can now take an added eight weeks of paid leave for a total of 12.
That’s a rarity for many U.S. businesses, since the government doesn’t mandate that they provide paid time off for parents. In Europe, though, it’s status quo: Countries like Estonia and Bulgaria require businesses to offer over 70 weeks of paid leave total, according to a Pew Research study.
Chatbooks’ success hasn’t been easy to come by, as CNBC reported last year. An early version failed to catch on. Ultimately, however, he and wife Vanessa were able to help the company bounce back, restructure, re-brand and sell over one million products.
Overall, Quigley says that his decision to add policies that focus on family help a company’s bottom line. “It’s surprisingly simple: Treat people the way you’d want to be treated,” he writes, “and they (and your company) will thrive.”
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