AUDIO: Management coach says it’s time to bury old bereavement policies – and more
SOUTHPORT, NORTH CAROLINA
February 15, 2017
• The outmoded HR rules that need updating
• “Many of the rules and mind-sets regarding employees are still anchored in the 18th century”
Changes are on the way in corporate America, when it comes to bereavement leave and many other aspects of 1950s-style management, says Linda Sharkey, an author and management coach.
“I see leader roles more and more turning into people who are becoming the “HR managers” for their departments,” she says. “As such, they should be using common sense when implementing a policy that should be a guideline and not a hard and fast rule.”
One policy that needs to change from the military-like rigidity of business management of the mid-20th Century is bereavement leave, she says, pointing to Facebook’s recent doubling of employee’s paid leave for bereavement to 20 days for an immediate family member and up to 10 days for extended family. According to Ms. Sharkey, it’s time for other corporations to follow suit.
“Providing proof that a relative has died before you can attend a funeral and trying to place a finite time on grief (two days for a parent, one for a grandparent) is not only inappropriate, it’s disrespectful,” she says in her forthcoming book, “The Future-Proof Workplace.”
“Many of the rules and mind-sets regarding employees are still anchored in the 18th century, and need to be updated,” Ms. Sharkey says.
(Linda Sharkey talks about bereavement leave and more changes that she says are needed to management more effectively in today’s exclusive CVBT Audio Interview via Skype. Please click on the link below to listen now or to download the audio file for later listening.)
Ms. Sharkey says she developed many of her concepts while working for two of the world’s largest firms: General Electric and Hewlett-Packard. She was chief talent officer and vice president of people development at HP and senior HR executive for GE.
“I think human resources needs to change their view from the 1950s industrial perspective on work where if you don’t control people, they’ll cheat you, they’ll take advantage of you, and begin to treat people as adults and make guidelines for people so that they can be supported in what they do, not minimized or diminished,” Sharkey says.
She is a founding member of the Marshall Goldsmith Group, an executive coaching organization.