Finding a way out of the childcare desert

Finding a way out of the childcare desert

Everyone predicted it back in the spring. We even addressed some of the childcare issues that concerned people back in May on our blog.

But, we’re still here. Summer is ending, some schools have started (even if only virtually), and the picture isn’t any prettier. Are you willing to lose one of your best workers over two hours a day? Have you ever had someone resign when their mother died? Well, get ready…

An executive was stunned by the number of times that female employees resigned when their mother died. He couldn’t figure it out. Fortunately, other females connected the dots for him:  their mothers had provided essential childcare; without mom/grandma, they could no longer work. This executive then connected other dots too. Leaving children at home, with no way to get to and from school, or no way to get to after school activities, was worth losing income and childcare.  

And all of this was Pre-Covid.

This article from HR Executive provides some ways to start thinking differently, so that you and your company might be able to be as prepared as possible, and put all those agile thinking skills to use when your star performer comes in ready to quit. Read More Here

Summer Rerun:  Geographic Differentials

Summer Rerun: Geographic Differentials

Back in May when we first warned of the quicksand that awaited employers flirting with basing pay on where people lived, we approached it from a technical compensation perspective.  When I came across this article last night, I knew we had to revisit the topic from the right point of view—corporate strategy.

I had never heard of this CEO or company before, but looked up both after reading this article.  Ian White has many quote-worthy quips in this article, but up front he reminds ALL employers that:

Companies have a responsibility to pay their employees fairly and on time, but that’s where their control ends.  The manager who chooses to move into an expensive high-rise downtown doesn’t deserve to make more money than their peers who choose to buy a modest home in the suburbs or live with their parents to save on rent.

He echoes many of the sentiments we made back in May, but most importantly he reminds all of something that we often stress—don’t copy a practice that another company is doing if it doesn’t fit with your culture. Read More Here

Base on Balls

Base on Balls

Maybe it’s my mom’s fault. When I was only six months old, she discovered that watching the Detroit Tigers on TV captivated me and gave her time to get things done. Then again, maybe it’s my dad’s fault because when he took me to games, he taught me how to keep score, the old-fashioned way, the way that you can go back and check which field a batter hit a pop fly in the third inning. (Foreshadowing my work with performance management tools?)

All blame aside, I love baseball. I still keep score whenever I’m lucky enough to go to a game; mocked until the seventh inning when someone does want to know what that guy did in the previous at-bats. So perhaps it was because I cannot go see a game in person this summer, that over the weekend I picked up Moneyball by Michael Lewis. I loved the movie when it came out and couldn’t imagine enjoying the book even more. But, I did.

It is so amazing to read how recruiters (scouts) with so many statistics at their fingertips, even before the advent of personal computers, still relied on gut and feel instead of cold, hard math. Getting on base and scoring runs wins games. Looking good in the uniform and having “the face” does not. I absolutely love Billy Beane’s line: “Are you selling jeans?” 

The biases in business do not differ very much from those exposed in professional baseball. I have been lucky enough to work with the sort of organizational development professionals that design robust competency-based selection tools, yet managers still need to be coached around their empty biases about how a candidate “seems” and “he’s got that look” like he would do well here. 

Even though Michael Lewis’s book is now seventeen years old, it really is a great summer read—especially this summer of fan-less baseball. While remote working has eliminated some of baseless management habits that sluggish managers have relied on for decades, if not centuries, if not millennia, there is plenty of work still to do. Perhaps diving into the lessons in this book will remind us to eschew bad old habits, and develop good new ones, grounded in stats, like your coaches used to drill you on every summer. 

Summer Reruns

Summer Reruns

Photo Credit: ©Jeremy Stenuit

For those of us old enough to remember when there were just three networks, summer TV meant reruns. If you had missed an episode, or had a favorite one, you didn’t mind reruns. 

In the case of our blog, we are rerunning one from January 22. We are not sure if you missed it or it was a favorite; but in retrospect, it is downright eerie. When I composed the first paragraph, it was merely an intro to an interesting article we had seen about how to make the workplace healthier and more immune from the common winter cold. We could not have imagined how life would change here in Chicago a mere seven weeks later. Now, walking around Chicago, I see more masks than I ever did when living in Tokyo.

In the early 1990s, I lived in Japan, and was taken aback the first few times I saw people get on the subway, and go about their daily business wearing surgical-type masks whenever they were sick. Over time, I started to realize what a smart practice this was. This time of year, I wish my fellow Americans would put medical masks on as they sneeze and cough spreading their germs all around. Read More Here