Pet Bereavement & Other HR Policies to Rethink

Kristina Finseth

 

I was browsing LinkedIn the other day, and came across a post written by an executive recruiter, Stephen Viscusi. The post was about one of Stephen’s close friends and the recent death of his only companion for the last seventeen years – his dog, Gus.

It got me thinking about the potential of organizations to create new HR policies that cater to the unique circumstances of their employee-base. Of course, I know you can’t go and create policies for every nuance, but here are some policies I believe are worth rethinking.

Pet Bereavement Like Stephen’s friend, there are many people who choose not to get married or have children, and their only companions are their animals. Just like the premise of his post, I completely agree that bereavement policies should be tailored to include those beloved pets that mean so much to so many of us.

Forced Time Off We all work with “those” employees. You know – the ones that never take a personal or sick day for themselves. Although I am not one of those employees, I do believe it’s important for everyone to have time away from work to relax, refresh and regroup. When an employee comes back after vacation, chances are they’ll be more creative, motivated and productive.

Reward Top Performers Our chief evangelist talks a lot about the number two dilemma, and the impact forced ranking and performance review systems have on the number twos in your organization. In fact, he argues that your number twos are hardworking, loyal, and talented people who are just waiting for a tap on the shoulder. If people are performing well, don’t limit your rewards by only recognizing a small percentage.

Do You Have Proof? I vividly remember a time I was out sick for a couple of days with the first company I ever worked for, and they stated it was required that I present a doctor’s note to be “excused” for my absences. Here’s my thing with requiring proof of absence reason: it’s ridiculous. Not all employees are sick enough to require a doctor’s visit, and if your grandmother passes – the last thing you want to do is bring in a cut-out obituary from your newspaper. If you don’t trust your employees to take legitimate time off, and they are still producing, there’s a bigger problem there.

These are just a few of the HR policies I think need an overhaul and makeover for many organizations. After all, on average, people spend more time at work than they do with their family or at home. Shouldn’t we have policies in place that make employees feel valued?

---

What are some other HR policies you think should be rewritten for good?