Tory Burch has created a multi-billion-dollar fashion empire, and she's done it in a way that's completely in line with her values. What's her secret to success? Burch encourages her nearly 3,000 employees to work smarter -- not longer.
“We try to have an environment where people can go to a lacrosse game or a doctor’s appointment," she said in a recent interview with the Washington Post. "It’s not about the quantity of work, it’s about the quality."
In the interview, Burch shared some of her thoughts on women and work-life balance and the importance of creating a work culture where employees can balance a career with parenting -- if that's what they choose.
"For me, it's important for women to have the ability to work if they want to. It's not something where I'm saying, 'Oh, women have to step up and go into the workforce,'" she explained. "Being a mom is equally as challenging, and it's really about your personal choice."
Burch may be onto something. A recent Forbes article, "'Work-Life Balance' Should Be 'Work-Life Integration,'" also argued that managers should focus on quality over quantity in the workplace.
"If we insist on judging (and compensating) our employees by the amount of time they spend behind their desk, in the shop, or in the office instead of the amount of value they provide, we are likely rewarding the wrong behaviors," Forbes contributor Ty Kiisel wrote.
By focusing on the results that matter rather than the time her employees put in, Burch has been able to build a successful business while also creating a healthy and supportive work culture. According to Ellen Ernst Kossek, author of CEO of Me: Creating a Life That Works in the Flexible Job Age, and Center for Creative Leadership researcher Kelly Hannum, giving workers flexibility can actually increase their productivity.
"Great managers set up supportive work-life systems and processes," Ernst Kossek and Hannum wrote in Forbes. "This requires moving from a paternalistic management style to one that helps employees feel accountable for coordinating work to enable flexible working. With freedom comes responsibility -– and new ways of working in organizations."
[H/t Levo League.]