"Why Should I Vote?" HR Needs to Have Our Say this Election Year

2016-06-06 | , Society for Human Resource Management

There comes a time in all of our lives when we have to stop thinking about ourselves and become a more altruistic human being. We have to decide whom we love, whom we can have in our lives, and what kind of values we want to adopt. My recent project covered the California U.S. Senate Debate and quite frankly, it opened my mind to the way things should or should not be in our country. Now I can go on about how one candidate is better than the other, or how one candidate’s values don’t line up with the values set forth by our Country’s forefathers - but I am not going to do that. Instead, I want to put forth the message that it’s not about who you vote for; it’s about having a say in our democratic process.

I have been asked in the past, "Why should I vote? I am only one vote and my vote does not matter." This is not true. Your vote sets the stage for the benefits you will receive if you are ever in need. Your vote also determines who will be setting the rules for employers and employees. I am a Human Resources practitioner and I cannot tell you enough about how important this is - not only for us, but for those coming after us like our children and their children.

This spring, I traveled to Sacramento to join other HR professionals in telling our government officials at the state level what is needed in the workplace in order for a company to thrive and for our citizens to be treated fairly. We talked about three different bills and to our surprise, some of our leaders were unaware of issues regarding wage and hour theft, the importance of flexible work schedules, and the need to assist our returning service members in finding employment. On the importance of work life balance, this may seem silly for some, but California does have inflexible overtime laws that hinder adopting flexible work schedules. But I’m convinced that the reason such laws like these are in place is because the people voting on them were not sufficiently educated on the subject matter - and that is our fault. We elected those officials. It our job to educate them on how these laws can be improved.

As the presidential election grows closer, please take time to educate yourself on the issues we are facing in the world today and, most importantly, take time to choose someone who would vote as you would, keeping the rest of the city, state and country in mind and truly being an altruistic human being who looks for a win/win solution in all aspects of leadership.