Magazine article Working Mother

When Your BOSS Has Your BACK

Magazine article Working Mother

When Your BOSS Has Your BACK

Article excerpt

We've all worked for die monster boss. Now meet managers at Hall oi Fame companies who went out of their way for employees - offering help that made the difference in a crisis.

All working parents get thrown off their game now and then. A health crisis, a death or a birth can send even die sturdiest of employees into a tailspin. In such times of turmoil, work-life benefits aren't just nice, they're essential. Even more critical: a manager who isn't afraid to put these benefits into play. We asked a group of our Hall of Famers- companies that have landed a spot on the Working Mother 100 Best for 15 years or more- to tell us about managers who are truly committed to their employees. What did we get in return? Stories of gratitude from staffers who found unsung heroes in their bosses. Compiled by Misa Cohen

IN PRAISE OF Stefanie Chiras manager, systems and technology group, IBM

"I was taking classes at Marist College and working full-time last spring when I learned that I had brain cancer. I was stunned, so when the oncology team explained the impending surgery, all I could think was, But that's the day I'm supposed to graduate. Back at the office, I was showered with concern and support. My boss, Stefanie Chiras, got me set up to work from home and visited me in the hospital. I still needed to complete one more class after my diagnosis, but Stephanie was intent on seeing me graduate. When the college allowed me to take the class as a work-study option, she spent hours on all the paperwork. Thanks to her, I graduated on time."

James Kyle, systems and tech development project engineer, 27-year employee

IN PRAISE OF Ray ACOSta manager of food services, Baptist Health South Florida

"You hear a lot about job perks, but when it comes to actually asking for one, you worry. Last year, I mentioned that I'd like to refresh some basic skills through Baptist Health's School-at-Work program. Then I held my breath. My boss, Ray Acosta, nominated me for the program immediately. Then he really surprised me: Ray told me to figure out a flex schedule while I took classes. Just like that, the can-l-do-this question vanished. I'm now looking into a college program, and. you guessed it, Ray has already offered to plan my work schedule around my new classes."

Ninoska Cordova, food services worker, 2-year employee

IN PRAISE OF Suzanne McGibbon senior partner, Deloitte

"You plan and you plot out your maternity leave, but you still have those nagging concerns that you'll fall off the radar while you're out of the office. When I was on leave with my second child, my boss, Suzanne McGibbon, knew that I was anxious. She understood that I had ambitions to prove myself and that I would make a run for partner when I returned from leave. So she stayed in close contact with me, kept me up to date on office machinations and then pointed out a potential opportunity for me to be a senior manager on a new project. She didn't stop there. She actually helped me relocate to San Francisco from Washington, DC, to be near the client. That project was a turning point in my path to making partner, and her help made all the difference." Jessica Kosmowski, consulting principal, 12-year employee

IN PRAISE OF Jim PaZZaglîa associate director of global business services, Procter & Gamble

"Technology is great for some things at work- telecommuting, teleconferencing and anytime-anywhere connections. But all the gadgets and Wi-Fi in the world can't replace the importance of the relationships you form working side by side. I was worried about this as I transitioned to a new role in multicultural marketing: Most of the group was located in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and I was in Cincinnati. Luckily, my boss, Jim Pazzaglia, is one of those people who get it. Jim enabled me to live and work in Puerto Rico for three months. This practice isn't common at P&G, but Jim advocated for it anyway. The payoff has been tremendous. …

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