- They’re driven. There is nothing that lights a fire under you faster than knowing your family is depending on you—and only you. That translates into motivation and the willingness to go the extra mile.
- They know what they don’t know. It’s a skill that only comes with life experience and yes, age. It means these workers are willing to do what it takes to bridge the learning gap: classes, degrees, workshops, mentorship, et cetera.
- They’re climbers. They want more, and while they might be a little afraid or shy to go after it in the beginning, all it takes to get them rolling is a little push. So when you see untapped potential in an employee, give them the chance to prove to themselves—and you!—that they can do this.
- They’re calm in a crisis. They deal with little disasters at home every day. In the workplace, they use that ability to quickly extinguish potential fires calmly and with composure.
- They work smart. When it comes to time management, they’re experts. They have to be. Yes, there will be days their family needs them, but they will find a way to get their work done. All they need from you is a little flexibility as to the time and place the work happens.
- Their family is their priority. They love their work, but they also place a high value on family; it’s the reason many of them get up in the morning. Having a life beyond work means they know how to slow down and find joy in the small things, which helps to keep them thriving.
- They can laugh. Raising kids while dealing with all the little roadblocks life throws in your way is only survivable through a sense of humor. When they bring that wit into the workplace, the office environment lightens up, making everyone more relaxed and team-oriented.
(Note: Obviously, the above qualities apply to other individuals as well, but today I’m championing single parents. As an employer, so should you.)