In the age of work-life balance and flexible work schedules the U.S. Department of Agriculture (Agriculture) is taking a step backwards. I saw a news report last week where they are moving from employees being able to work remotely four days a week to one day a week. Amazing! The idea of teleworking in the federal government started at least twenty years ago Telework Guidance and Legislation.
The reason given was to build a sense of community among Agriculture employees. The high-ranking official that was interviewed said this change in policy is in response to a complaint by employees that work in the office. These employees said they have experienced and are experiencing a lack of connection with their colleagues that telework. My first reaction was, how many employees are in the office on a daily basis to complain and why aren’t they teleworking?
This new policy is supposed to go into effect July 1, 2018. The report said this will put approximately 5,000 people on the roads in the Washington, D.C. area. When I heard that I flipped out! I live and work in the D.C. area. I also telework two days a week. I can’t imagine the effect that is going to have on the commute in this area. The D.C. area already has some of the worst traffic in the U.S. How Bad is Traffic in DC.
In the next few months it will be interesting to see how this is plays out. Hopefully it will work out in favor of Agriculture employees and the rest of us that live in this area. If officials at Agriculture truly wanted to resolve the issue of comradery among their employees they could have found a better way Three Pitfalls Facing The Federal Distributed Workforce.
Newly minted first-time managers and new leaders are usually part of the biggest population of leaders in any organization: frontline, first-line, and entry-level managers, supervisors, and directors. They directly manage more people than any other managerial level. The stats show first-time managers and new leaders rarely get the training they need to be effective in their new position.
For at least the past five years employee engagement has been has been a major topic for HR professionals and thought leaders around the world. You can find conferences, panel discussions, articles, blogs, tweets, etc. about employee engagement. With the dismal numbers of first-time managers and new leaders receiving inadequate training employee engagement will continue to be a major topic for HR professionals and thought leaders around the world.
In my blog post Managers Need Training Too I talked about the importance of managers receiving the proper training to be successful. If first-time managers and new leaders aren’t receiving the training necessary to be successful employee engagement will decrease. If employee engagement decreases the quality of the service being provided or the product being produced will also decrease.
Upper management needs to invest in training so first-time managers and new leaders can be successful. The success of the organization is directly or indirectly tied to the success of first-time managers and new leaders.
My favorite HR practioner from India, Ankita Poddar, hit another home run earlier this week. In my post, HR Professionals Create Something, earlier this week I was urging my fellow HR professionals to come up with something new or different. Well I’m not alone. In her post Where Are the HR Innovation Conferences Ankita laments that HR professionals aren’t innovative.
I understand HR is not one of the arts where you use the right side of the brain. Regardless of which side of the brain you use innovation is needed in every field. On a large scale HR has to move beyond the mundane and into the future. In no way am I suggesting that HR is beyond the times, absolutely not. However, unlike other fields that people purposefully entered HR is a field that many people stumbled into.
I want to give you a brief history lesson of HR. Historically HR has been a female dominated field and it still is. In the business arena HR is a support function. In the workforce women have historically held support roles. In the mid twentieth century when women were entering the workforce in large numbers the only positions they were allowed to have were support roles. So by default many HR professionals stumbled into the field.
There’s nothing wrong with stumbling into a field. However, there’s a difference between doing something you love and having a job. Once again unlike other fields HR has been a field that you didn’t have to have a degree get into. Just having a job won’t give you a passion for what you do. Not being mentally challenged before entering the workforce also won’t give you a passion for what you do. A lack of passion is one of the things HR is missing. If you have a passion for your job then you have a dog in the fight. Without a passion for HR our field will always be lacking on the innovation front.
If you have questions about this blog post or anything else please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and http://www.linkedin.com/pub/cornell-jenkins/11/476/897/
Employee engagement has been a hot topic in HR world-wide for the past few years. Employers across the globe are trying to figure out how to get and keep their employees engaged. For the most part engaged employees are happy employees. Engaged employees stay at their jobs longer than disengaged employees and engaged employees provide an emotionally stable work environment.
While upper management and HR are trying to figure out how to get and keep their employees engaged, employees continue to focus on obtaining a work-life balance. Many HR professionals believe providing a work-life balance for employees will facilitate engagement (I’m one of them). In the past few years I have read only a few articles and participated in a limited number of conversations that focused on making sure employees did have a work-life balance.
If upper management and HR truly want what’s best for their employees they would recommend employees go home on time. Gemma Dale is an HR professional that resides in London, in her blog post Go Home On Time she provides a good case why employees should “go home on time”. Upper management and HR professionals should seriously consider Gemma’s suggestion. As an employee of any organization you’ll agree that Gemma’s assessment is accurate.