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Hey, Daddy-O…Please Make it Stop


Anyone who knows me professionally is aware that I am a strong advocate for creating companies that deliberately address the issue of the work-life interface. I am a huge proponent of interventions like work flexibility because they create a win-win scenario for organizations and employees. I can often be convinced that various work-life practices can produce benefits for the organization and the employee that are truly sustainable and make an impact.

That being said, there is no way I can be convinced that Bring Your Parents to Work Day is anything but silly (and probably a few other descriptors that force the APA editors to redacted this redacted and ensure that I am redacted redacted redacted redacted redacted and never allowed to redacted redacted redacted redacted ever again). And quite frankly, I agree wholeheartedly with almost everything Alison Green argues about this issue. I was disturbed that LinkedIn would think that was a good idea, but I nearly fell out of my chair when I saw that Google was doing the same thing (maybe Google is not as close to ruling the world as I thought).

I already knew parents were overinvolved with their children at younger ages, but Bring Your Parents to Work Day is even a bigger problem. I don’t mind when someone’s parents drop by the office and get a brief tour from their child before they head off to lunch together. But the idea that somehow, parents and their adult children cannot discuss what they do in their professional lives without formalized tours and other goofy, time-wasting programs is a bit ridiculous. Alison Green may be right when she says this is just another element of the coddling that has occurred in the lives people who are starting to enter the workforce.

To which, all I can say is…Stop already! Enough with the goofy gimmicks. Stop wasting time coming up with the next silly idea, like Bring Your Parents to Work Day, that is not going to have a significant impact on the work culture. Quite frankly, it takes the focus away from where it should be – creating workplace cultures and processes that actually improve the way work is done. I suppose the powers that be at Google and LinkedIn can rest assured that if they decide to terminate an employee, the efforts to get workers’ parents more involved will also lead to parents challenging those terminations and intervening on their children’s behalf. And, that will just encourage this phenomenon to spread.

Photo Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/a_stepanov

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Dr. Matt Grawitch published on November 19, 2013 8:30 AM.

Do Customers and Clients Notice a Healthy Workplace? You Bet They Do! was the previous entry in this blog.

Get the Duct Tape – Engagement Alarmism is Going to Make My Head Explode! is the next entry in this blog.

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