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Progressive Workplaces: Holding Ourselves and the Highest Office Accountable

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Thu Nov 08 2012

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(From Huffington Post) -- So now we know: Obama is signed on for another four years. All the predictions and projections of the last several months will begin to give way to action and results (we hope) as his second term progresses. Healthcare, the national debt, jobs, foreign policy, education, and others will share a piece of this president's focus over the next four years. On the home front, many of these issues intersect at the workplace.

The president is still left with a Republican House of Representatives and unless we do something about it, it will still be difficult for change to happen in Washington D.C. So as I see it, our role as citizen and agent of change becomes more important. Whether or not Barack Obama was your candidate, he is our president. Our job now is to help him and others in Congress understand the bearing key workplace issues place on our economy, our morale and overall well-being as a nation. Their job is to listen and respond accordingly. Topics such as pay equity, flexibility and other workplace advancements should be considered, discussed, examined, debated and acted upon.

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There are many viewpoints and considerations to take into account when discussing workplace issues. Regulations are needed to move us forward in regards to pay equity, but many aspects of the workplace are more nuanced and require an attitude and paradigm shift. Take workplace flexibility as an example. If only working mothers are seen as needing concessions -- like "needing" flexibility to take care of the family -- then current perceptions that flexibility is just a women's issue won't change.

Here's where the conversation largely falls flat. Flexibility isn't about getting home early to put dinner on the table... Mom. It is an important human capital strategy for businesses of all sizes and should be discussed in that context. Job growth was a key campaign topic and now a (returning) official issue for President Obama. Organizations are struggling to fill their ranks, even in this "buyer's" market. They claim job seekers lack the "necessary skills" for open positions, but in actuality, their lack of progressive change and inability to alter perspective is holding them back.

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