Breaking Business Myths: Building a Family Friendly Workplace in New Mexico

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Breaking Business Myths: Building a Family Friendly Workplace in New Mexico

Debunking Misconceptions and Empowering Success Through Innovation and Inclusivity

Welcome to our myth-busting blog post where we delve into common misconceptions about creating a family friendly workplace in New Mexico. This was compiled as a result of the Myth Busting Panel held at the 8th Annual Family Friendly Awards Luncheon on April 23, 2024. In today’s fast-paced business landscape, it’s essential to challenge prevailing myths that may hinder progress and limit the potential for building inclusive and supportive work environments. Through the experiences and insights of our panelists, Raquel, Mando, and Carol, we’ll explore and debunk nine myths surrounding business practices, employee management, and workplace culture. Join us as we unravel these myths and uncover the truths that can empower businesses to thrive while prioritizing the well-being and satisfaction of their employees.

Myth #1: You have to be a certain way to succeed in business.

Background: This myth often stems from traditional notions of what a successful business person should look like or how they should behave. It implies that one must conform to a specific set of characteristics or behaviors to achieve success in the business world. This pressure to fit into predefined molds can lead to internal conflict and a sense of inauthenticity among entrepreneurs and business professionals.

Debunking: Raquel’s experience challenges this myth by highlighting the importance of authenticity and self-awareness in business. She shares how her attempts to conform to conventional business standards only led to internal conflict and a sense of limitation. By embracing her uniqueness and refusing to adhere to societal expectations, Raquel found the freedom to create a business that truly reflects her values and vision. Her success demonstrates that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to entrepreneurship and that diversity of thought and expression is key to innovation and success.

Myth #2: Providing healthcare benefits is prohibitively expensive.

Background: This myth stems from concerns about the rising costs of healthcare and the financial burden it places on employers. Small businesses, in particular, may perceive offering healthcare benefits as financially unsustainable, leading them to forgo or minimize healthcare coverage for their employees. This myth overlooks alternative solutions and cost-saving strategies that can make healthcare benefits more affordable for employers.

Debunking: Carol’s experience challenges this myth by highlighting alternative healthcare options that are both affordable and beneficial for employees. She shares how associations negotiate discounted healthcare programs on behalf of their members, making healthcare benefits more accessible and cost-effective for small businesses. By prioritizing employee health and well-being, businesses can attract and retain talent while also demonstrating a commitment to social responsibility and employee satisfaction.

Myth #3: Flexible scheduling leads to chaos and decreased productivity.

Background: This myth is rooted in the belief that traditional, rigid scheduling structures are necessary to maintain productivity and organizational cohesion. It assumes that allowing flexibility in scheduling will lead to confusion, scheduling conflicts, and ultimately decreased productivity. Employers may hesitate to implement flexible scheduling options due to concerns about maintaining control and accountability.

Debunking: Mando’s experience challenges this myth by highlighting the benefits of flexible scheduling for both employees and organizations. He shares how organizations can tailor scheduling options to meet the diverse needs of their workforce, promoting work-life balance and overall satisfaction. By implementing flexible scheduling options, organizations can empower employees to manage their time more effectively, leading to increased productivity and morale.

Myth #4: Don’t invest in your employees because they’ll just leave you.

Background: This myth reflects a fear-based approach to employee management, suggesting that investing in employees is futile because they will inevitably seek opportunities elsewhere. It often leads businesses to prioritize short-term gains over long-term growth and overlook the importance of nurturing talent and fostering loyalty among employees.

Debunking: Raquel challenges this myth by emphasizing the value of investing in employees’ growth and development. She shares how supporting her employees’ dreams and aspirations not only fosters loyalty but also contributes to her own peace of mind and fulfillment. By prioritizing her employees’ well-being and personal growth, Raquel demonstrates that businesses can create a positive and supportive work environment that encourages loyalty and long-term commitment.

Myth #5: Providing comfortable facilities for nursing mothers, over and above what the law requires, is costly and impractical.

Background: This myth reflects a lack of awareness and understanding of the needs of nursing mothers in the workplace. It often leads employers to overlook or neglect the importance of providing appropriate facilities and support for nursing mothers, citing concerns about cost and practicality.

Debunking: Mando’s experience challenges this myth by showcasing how organizations can prioritize the needs of nursing mothers in the workplace through collaboration and creativity. He shares how one organization collaborated with key stakeholders to repurpose existing spaces and allocate funds for creating a welcoming and supportive environment for nursing mothers. By demonstrating a commitment to supporting the needs of nursing mothers, Mando’s experience shows that providing appropriate facilities is not only feasible but also essential for fostering an inclusive and supportive workplace culture.

Myth #6: Younger employees are transient and disinterested in the restaurant industry.

Background: This myth reflects misconceptions about younger generations’ attitudes toward work and career advancement. Employers may assume that younger employees, such as Gen Z, are less committed to long-term careers and more inclined to job-hop in search of better opportunities. This myth overlooks the factors that motivate younger employees, such as mentorship, growth opportunities, and a positive work environment.

Debunking: Carol’s experience challenges this myth by highlighting the preferences and priorities of Gen Z employees in the restaurant industry. She shares insights from a National Restaurant Association report, which emphasizes the importance of mentorship, career advancement, and a positive reputation in the community for younger employees. By offering these opportunities and benefits, businesses can attract and retain young talent, challenging the notion that younger employees are transient or disinterested in long-term careers.

Myth #7: Remote work/hybrid models are unproductive and untrustworthy.

Background: This myth arises from skepticism about the feasibility and effectiveness of remote work arrangements. Employers may worry that employees will be less productive or accountable when working remotely, leading to concerns about maintaining organizational performance and cohesion. This skepticism may be fueled by a lack of experience with remote work or misconceptions about the ability to monitor and manage remote employees.

Debunking: Mando’s experience challenges this myth by showcasing how organizations can successfully implement remote work and hybrid models with the right processes and technology in place. He shares how organizations adapted to remote work during the pandemic, implementing processes and procedures to track productivity and engage employees in a virtual environment. By demonstrating that remote work can be productive and trustworthy, Mando’s experience challenges the notion that traditional office-based work is the only path to organizational success.

Myth #8: You have to be frugal with money.

Background: This myth suggests that being overly cautious with finances is the only way to ensure business success. It often leads entrepreneurs to prioritize cost-cutting measures at the expense of investment and growth opportunities. While financial prudence is important, this myth can hinder businesses from taking necessary risks and seizing opportunities for expansion and development.

Debunking: Raquel challenges this myth by reframing the concept of money as energy that should flow abundantly rather than being hoarded. She shares her realization that investing in her business and employees is essential for fostering growth and prosperity. By viewing money as a tool for creating abundance rather than scarcity, Raquel demonstrates how businesses can thrive by embracing a mindset of abundance and generosity.

Myth #9: Family-friendly policies aren’t applicable in the fast-paced restaurant industry.

Background: This myth arises from the perception that the fast-paced nature of the restaurant industry is incompatible with family friendly policies and practices. Employers may believe that accommodating employees’ personal commitments and responsibilities will disrupt operations and hinder productivity. This myth overlooks the potential benefits of family friendly policies, such as increased employee satisfaction, retention, and loyalty.

Debunking: Carol’s experience challenges this myth by highlighting the various ways in which family friendly policies can be implemented in the restaurant industry. She shares examples of flexible scheduling, emergency leave, and cross-training programs that support employees in achieving work-life balance and personal commitments outside of work. By prioritizing employee well-being and offering support for personal and family needs, businesses can create a positive and supportive workplace culture that enhances productivity and retention.

Conclusion

As we conclude our myth-busting journey, it’s clear that creating a family friendly workplace in New Mexico is not only achievable but essential for fostering a culture of inclusivity, support, and success. By challenging common misconceptions and embracing innovative approaches to business practices and employee management, organizations can unlock the full potential of their workforce and cultivate environments where employees feel valued, empowered, and motivated to excel. Let’s continue to debunk myths, embrace diversity, and prioritize the well-being of our employees as we shape the future of work in New Mexico and beyond.

For more information on how to implement the policies discussed by our panelists, view our toolkits.


Raquel Benavidez
Owner & CEO, Bien Loca Industries LLC

Raquel Benavidez is a pioneer in the industry. She owns, operates, and is CEO of Bien Loca Industries, a medical and recreational cultivation and processing cannabis company with delivery/distribution and retail licenses in New Mexico. The company develops and manufactures its original product line Mota Mystic. Bien Loca is proud to be the only company in New Mexico, solely owned by a Latina, holding the state’s largest licensing, Vertically Integrated Cannabis Establishment. Raquel has married her business acumen—18 years in business management, sales, and marketing—with The Four Agreements’ mission to create Conscientious Influence in Business. She is certified by don Miguel to take this masterwork into the workplace as a facilitator for corporate training.

Beyond the workplace, Raquel has launched The Truth Foundation, which educates and expands the perceptions of identity and race both in the workplace and one’s personal life. The program works in partnership with her corporate clients to bring empowerment and hope to local communities. Raquel is a Co-chair and Founding Member of the Cannabis Women’s Collaborative. The collaborative was established as a Voice for Women in Cannabis in the community and statewide, with the aims of activism, social communication, and professional support. Raquel is delighted to serve as Chair for the Women in Business program with the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber to continue her commitment to strengthening women and her latino community.


Carol Wight
CEO, NM Restaurant Association

At 21, Carol Wight opened her first restaurant. By the time she was 30, she owned three successful restaurants with 150 employees. Utilizing her entrepreneurial skills and restaurant expertise, she became an international consultant working with restaurants and hotels in Asia and the Middle East. Carol became the CEO of the New Mexico Restaurant Association in 2002. She is responsible for carrying out the mission and vision of the organization and for implementing programs and services that benefit members. She is passionate about helping New Mexico restaurant operators be as successful as possible.


Mando Lara
President, Human Resource Management Association (HRMA) of NM

Mando Lara is a proud Lobo having graduated from UNM with both his BBA and MBA from the Anderson School of Business. Mando brings years of experience as an HR professional with a background spanning various industries including call center operations, retail and pharmacy, and a research and development lab.

Currently serving as the President of the Human Resource Management Association of New Mexico (HRMA), Mando is dedicated to advancing the HR profession in the greater Albuquerque area. Under his leadership, HRMA provides HR professionals with invaluable opportunities for networking, career advancement, and access to job search resources, further enriching the local HR community.

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