I read an interesting article today about actor, Seth Rogen speaking in front of Congress, asking for support for Alzheimer’s disease. His Mother-in-law suffered for many years. He spoke about how terrible it was. Seth really described how bad she became. He noticed there were many empty seats … barely anyone was there to listen to his plea.
Why am I not surprised? We are in huge denial in our country about the impact of major illness. It’s almost like people would prefer to wear blinders and pretend that people don’t get sick, that money isn’t needed to do medical research, that healthcare must address these needs. Seth saw that straight up.
I’ve recently made it my mission to raise awareness in corporations about how employees and their family’s are impacted by major illness. Cancer is almost an epidemic. Add to that heart disease, Alzheimers, Kidney disease, auto-immune diseases .. and wow, maybe 40 – 60% of people who go to work are effected. It might be their illness or that of their loved one .. but it definitely has a huge impact on productivity at work.
It behooves executive teams, managers and HR to take a look at this phenomena. It’s not going away. It’s time for these folks to bring their “humanity” inside with them and not leave it at the door. It’s time for them to learn what they need to know about illness, how it effects people, what it feels like, how to communicate about it, how to help them achieve their work responsibilities in a different way.
It’s time for them to help their employees KEEP their jobs and not find ways to push them out. It’s time to honor them, assist them. In the long run, it saves the company money. What a concept.
Here’s to Humanity at work!!