In this era when human resource professionals are practically expected to be magicians, any low-cost means for helping employees reduce their stress and be more engaged and productive is welcome.
In our book, “Lean & Meaningful,” we defined “meaningfulness” at work with 12 elements; one was “Family Centeredness.” Supporting family centeredness also helps to make an organization an Employer of Choice.
Helping H.R. professionals to support family centeredness is former “BusinessWeek” writer, Michelle Nichols. During 1998, Nichols unexpectedly lost her young son, Mark, to brain cancer. Later, she put up two billboards along Houston’s freeways in his memory, suggesting that parents hug their kids each day.
The outpouring of response inspired Nichols to write, “Hug your Kids Today! 5 Lessons for Every Working Parent”.
This 156-page, easy-to-read paperback not only chronicles Nichols’ story, but offers advice to stressed parents as well.
“Don’t try to ‘balance,’” she said, “rather prioritize.”
Nichols urges parents to “put family first and work a close second.”
“Spend a few minutes hugging your kids every morning,” she said, “and you will have more peace of mind, joy, and success.”
Her strong feelings about the value of hugs also prompted her to create “National Hug Your Kids Day.” On July 21, there were events in Georgia, Florida, California and Nevada.
In addition, eight of Major League Baseball’s electronic billboards highlighted the special day and several roadside billboards throughout the United States promoted the celebration.
Incidentally, medical evidence proves that hugging is therapeutic for both parties, bolstering the immune system and creating endorphins that make people feel good.
We also anticipate seeing an up-tick in the number of “lunch and learn” presentations with books like this one, delivered on parenting and other high-stress inducing challenges employees face.
From The Herman Trend Alert, by Joyce Gioia-Herman, strategic business futurist. www.hermangroup.com