‘Bring your Parents to Work Day’ – Learning TRENDS by Elliott Masie

I was reading Elliot Masie’s Learning Trends this morning and the first article he had there was one entitled

Bring your Parents to Work Day.

At first when I read the title I was intrigued and was really interested in what Elliot had to say which was this

‘Bring Your Parents to Work Day” would allow highly involved and concerned parents to meet the colleagues and bosses of their kids.  Just as they did in K to 12 school settings, parents are often able to advocate for higher performance ratings once they meet their children’s evaluators.  Some parents might even help their children re-decorate their work space or cubicle. 

It will also be valuable for the older, retired parents of some employees.  These parents can come in and be deployed as meaningful one day assistants – leveraging their skills and experiences of decades of work.  In some instances, the retired parents can even be deployed while their children are on vacation, filling in for them on key assignments and committees.’

and when I got to the end of the piece I was well, lost for words.

He goes on to suggest that some organisations might be challenged by this idea, and in my opinion he is right, but for the wrong reasons.  Organisations should be challenged by this idea because if it utterly wrong-headed.  All I can think is that if the parents of someone who worked for me came in and wanted to discuss their child’s performance or wanted to help them re-decorate their cubicle I would say;

‘Why are you here, this is a place of business if your child can’t look after themselves and needs you to intervene of their behalf or assist them with redecorating then I am not sure they have the skills to actually be employed here.’

Have we got so paternal, have our children got so useless that they can’t cope in the world as adults, without their parents to help them.  There are no learning opportunities here, unless that is you want to learn which of your staff have over controlling, over involved parents and who can’t actually look after themselves in the real adult world.

Sorry Elliot, you say a lot of good things most of the time, but this time you have really missed the mark.

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About pauldrasmussen
Paul Rasmussen is one of Australia’s most widely read Vocational Education and Training Commentators. He provides deep, unbiased analysis and insights not only on topical issues, but also on the underlying structure and policy which supports the industry. His writing and analysis has been praised for its uncompromising and thought provoking style and its ability to focus on the issues of real importance to the sector. He has advised various government departments and ministers, training providers, public and private organisations, not for profits and small to medium enterprises on the VET sector and the issues and opportunities facing it. He is one of Australia’s most awarded learning professionals and a regular speaker at a range of conventions and forums. His extensive experience in vocational education, and learning and development coupled with formal qualifications in philosophy, ethics, business and education management allow Paul to provide a unique view of the road ahead and how to navigate it.

3 Responses to ‘Bring your Parents to Work Day’ – Learning TRENDS by Elliott Masie

  1. Leo Salazar says:

    I’m unfortunately with you on this one. Even though I admire Eliot’s willingness to seek creative opportunities to raise awareness of age issues, if that’s his intent, this suggestion is, as you said, a step in the wrong direction.

    Even worse, it’s horribly naive. “Filling in while the child is on vacation and for important assignments”?!! I don’t know what workplace he’s imagining where this would ever be possible, but, frankly, I wouldn’t want to work there.

    This suggestion of Eliot’s shows exactly the reason that learning as a profession struggles to gain recognition and credibility as a business-relevant discipline. I can only imagine the thoughts your average line manager would have if you suggested that they expend valuable resources in onboarding someone who has been years out of the workforce, possibly decades.

  2. Leo Salazar says:

    I hope Eliot meant this as an April Fool’s joke. I’m unfortunately with you on this one. Even though I admire Eliot’s willingness to seek creative opportunities to raise awareness of age issues, if that’s his intent, this suggestion is, as you said, a step in the wrong direction.

    Even worse, it’s horribly naive. “Filling in while the child is on vacation and for key assignments”?!! I don’t know what workplace he’s imagining where this would ever be possible, but, frankly, I wouldn’t want to work there.

    This suggestion of Eliot’s, April Fool’s or not, shows exactly the reason that learning as a profession struggles to gain recognition and credibility as a business-relevant discipline. I can only imagine the thoughts your average line manager would have if you suggested that he or she expend their valuable resources in onboarding someone who has been years out of the workforce, possibly decades.

    • pauldrasmussen says:

      I certainly hope he did too. I didn’t realise it might be an april fools joke until you mentioned it. Sometimes the time differences make these things difficult to know.

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