“Holy Crap – Is there anything this guy won’t write about?!”
Is that what you’re thinking right now? (Well, a quick answer – I have a list of 3 things that I can’t write about – you’d have to ask my wife about it – oops – that’s one.)
The Wall Street Journal (see how I go right into a well respected and award winning publication to make my case?) recently had an article – Baby Boomers and the Labor Force - I’ll save you the details though, because you know how this story ends, suffice it to say it got me thinking… in HR we are constantly encouraging our employees to do things, many times really based on random whims of our own personal agendas or those of our senior leadership.
In HR, we would never encourage our employees to espouse to one religion over another – yet – we give our employees Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Good Friday off. Isn’t that somewhat encouraging our employees to take on the Christian religion over another? Quick show of hands – How many employers give “all” of their employees off Hanukkah, Rosh Hashanah, Kwanzaa and the 1st Thursday and Friday of the NCAA Basketball Tournament? Like I thought – none.
In HR we would never encourage our employees to take on one charity over another – yet – we put on the high pressure, department vs. department contest each year for the United Way campaign. We even make it so easy that we allow them to give by direct deposit – but I’ve yet to find an employer who will allow me to use direct deposit to give to my Save the Purple Squirrel fund. Why only United Way?
In HR we would never, and I mean never, encourage our employees to vote for one political party over another – right!? Oh, but, we don’t stop our CEO from having an all employee meeting the day before elections to speak to how a certain party could have a better financial impact to our business, and no pressure but if that other party gets elected – it could cost you your job! But, no pressure, you make your own choice!
Okay, back to making babies. You see, what The Wall Street Journal article taught me was that there is actually scientific evidence on why we should be encouraging our employees to make babies. Let’s face it, this pending War on Talent is happening, and baby boomers are dropping out of the workforce faster than union workers out of state governments. We need more workers to compete in a global workforce – and for those who clicked the link back to the article – you are now like me in fully understanding the value of encouraging your employees to have babies, to our HR dilemma!
Long story short – we can get down from our high horses anytime now HR – we and our organizations have agendas and we are constantly pushing those down to our employees, many of which have really no pertinent application to our actual business. As crazy as encouraging your employees to make babies might sound – is it really that crazy – at least I can tie it back to an actual business need!