I’m afraid we’ve officially gone off the deep end. First we had helicopter parents, who hovered over every moment of their special snowflakes’ lives, quickly righting any wrongs and making sure there was never a moment when “learning” wasn’t taking place. Now, we’ve moved that behavior into the workplace.
Oh, not in terms of hand holding and doctoring performance reviews so that everyone is above average. (Although I have had to explain what the term “average” means to more than one manager.) No, we’ve just moved into attempting to control every aspect of our employees’ lives–not just micro-managing their work. How? Through seemingly innocuous “work-life balance” programs.
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8 thoughts on “Are you a helicopter manager?”
For a second there, I thought you wanted to get in touch with someone who managed operations for a helicopter company. Couldn’t for the life of me figure out why. Then I realized…
My time off the clock is my time. It doesn’t belong to my employer, and I would highly resent anyone trying to tell me what to do with it.
Suzanne, would tobacco-free incentives for health insurance discounts fall under this? Or biometric screening for the same discounts? I’m curious. Supposedly the company doesn’t know the details, but I wonder…
Elizabeth: As my company has begun a wellness program last year (and we currently have only incentives, no “sticks”) I can tell you the information we get from biometric screenings is in the aggregate. We do not get details at all. For instance, the data might say “27% of participants fall within the upper normal ranges of cholesterol”. It simply gives us information on what areas of wellness education to highlight for employees, or what voluntary wellness activities to offer.
I once had a boss who told me that “work is your number 1 priority! You just have to learn to put your family second!!!” And when I jokingly said that “who is supposed to take my sick kid to his doctor’s appointment? A social worker?” she thought it was a SPLENDID idea! I didn’t work for her much longer
Sorry, I guess I should mention, this was at the END of my work day. She had wanted me to stay late again as usual and I actually said ‘no’ in order to take my sick son to the clinic.
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