Workplaces now ‘adult day care’?

MIKE IRVING believes “staff day care is becoming a reality” as an increasing number of business owners and manager feel forced to fix their employees’ personal problems to keep them focused on the job.

“Many workers are bringing issues at home to work – unloading to their colleagues about relationship breakdowns, financial debt and family fights, interrupting work and forcing the boss to intervene,” business mentor Mr Irving said.

“It’s a common theme I’m hearing among frustrated employers who find staff are focussed on their own problems and therefore not being supportive of the team,” Advanced Business Abilities founder Mr Irving said.

“Instead of bosses focusing on growing their business they’re babysitting workers, ensuring their mental health is ok and taking steps to reassure them everything will be fine. 

“While this is admirable, it hurts their business as it takes their attention away from the direction they’re heading.

“I’m not surprised this is happening because there is a large number of people who lack self leadership in society.

“There is so much choice and a lack of applied delayed gratification with credit cards enabling people to buy things now even though they might not have the money,” Mr Irving said.

“In school sports every child is now given a participation trophy setting them up to believe things come easy in life not necessarily through hard work.

“We’ve set up generation Y and Millennials to not take responsibility for their life, and expecting others to fix their problems as well as helping them to complete their set tasks at work.

“This is also why many in this generation of workers seem to lack loyalty, opting to stay in a job for only six or 12 months … they’re constantly wanting to move onto something bigger and better.”

Mr Irving said bosses wanting to foster a productive work environment will be best placed if they avoid hiring staff who lack self leadership. The signs to look out for, he said, were:


1.     Critical: These people are quick to find fault in others and let the rest of the workforce know about it.

2.     Negative: Their outlook is the glass is always half empty. They see problems rather than solutions.

3.     Blame: Nothing is their fault even if it happened on their watch. They’ll be quick to distance themselves from the work colleague they’re pointing the finger at.

4.     Dishonesty: Will happily lie about a decision or a discussion to cover their tracks.

5.     Unsupportive:  They are more interested in looking after themselves than supporting the boss or following the company’s stated agenda. They will be unsupportive in a team environment choosing to do what’s best for themselves instead of what’s best for the team


“With increasing rates of mental health, drug use on the rise and one in three marriages ending in divorce there is no surprise personal problems are spilling into the workplace,” Mr Irving said.

“If you’d like to build a business that works, it’s important to choose the right people to support you.”




About Mike Irving


Mike Irving runs Leadership Skills Accelerator workshops around the country as well as individual coaching – the next workshops are scheduled for Perth and Byron Bay in August and September. For more information visit

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