The blind spot in Tim Cook’s vision of employee wellness

A “concierge-like healthcare experience” for employees, but not a word about their children.

From the newly posted job listing for Apple’s AC Wellness health educator/coaches:

As an integral member of the primary care team, the Health Partner works in direct partnership with the primary care physician to help patients improve their health and wellness through sustainable behavior change. The Health Partner uses a thoughtful and strategic combination of health education, health coaching, and behavioral analysis to help patients overcome barriers such as knowledge gaps, harmful attitudes, environmental constraints, and skill deficits that hinder their potential for improved health and quality of life.

From Mike Murphy’s Apple’s new $5 billion campus has a 100,000-square-foot gym and no daycare in Quartz:

What’s notably missing from the 175-acre headquarters, however, is a childcare center—probably not a big deal to workers who don’t need to leave the mothership to tend to such worldly pursuits as child-rearing, but a missed opportunity, given Apple’s prominence as an employer, to redefine the relationship between work and home life.

On-site childcare remains a rare feature in corporate America. But it’s been shown to do wonders for parents of young children. Its presence has helped Patagonia, for example, to retain 100% of the women on staff who have had children over the past five years. (The average in the US is under 80%.)

My take: Yup, I’m riding my daycare hobbyhorse again. Still waiting for Apple’s promised response. Meanwhile, I’m a little creeped out by the job application. Harmful attitudes? Knowledge gaps? Behavioral analysis and behavioral change? Is this how health coaches talk?

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6 Comments

  1. Richard Wanderman said:

    I’m with you PED.

    The short of it is, Apple has a PR messaging issue. Amazing that they can be so secretive about technology yet not control or understand how this clinic announcement might look.

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    February 27, 2018
  2. David Drinkwater said:

    I’m wondering if the problem is not with the message going out, but the interpretation. It seems to me that AC Wellness might not be simple healthcare, but rather Apple language for an Employee Assistance Program.

    https://www.shrm (dot) org/resourcesandtools/tools-and-samples/hr-qa/pages/whatisaneap.aspx

    The AC Wellness website is not very informative at this point, which makes it a great target for Apple-bashing.

    1
    February 27, 2018
  3. Gianfranco Pedron said:

    The language is clinical, with with a dose of sugar coating to mitigate the cringe factor should non professionals stumble upon the ad.

    It’s not the kind of language we expect from Apple since it is widely perceived that the foundation of its success is composed of silicon rather than carbon.

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    February 27, 2018
  4. Fred Stein said:

    Keep riding your daycare hobbyhorse. Having daycare on site is one of those ‘right things to do’. And it helps with diversity – not only diversity as social responsibility, but diversity in getting getting different viewpoints at the table. Parents, male and female, of young kids ‘think different’ in good ways.

    1
    February 27, 2018
  5. Jonathan Mackenzie said:

    I spoke with a woman who ran a daycare center for 30 years about this issue and she gave me a couple interesting insights. While she obviously agreed that more needs to be done to improve access to childcare for working parents, an “on site” daycare has some drawbacks.

    1) Young children benefit most from having child care as close to home as possible. Having their commute from home to daycare and from daycare to home as short as possible is best for reducing stress and improving their sense of security.

    2) And while you’d think going to work with Mom or Dad would be the ideal, it’s not. Parents and children both benefit when the parent has had some time to decompress after work before picking up the kids. A few extra minutes in the car to process the stress of the work day can mean a better emotional experience when the parent collects the children to go home.

    So if we’re thinking in terms of the care of the children and not the convenience of the parent, she said, the best situation is a daycare close to home.

    She would not want me to try and twist her words into some sort of argument against corporations doing a better job with daycare, so I don’t want to present them as such. But I thought it was an interesting perspective that has not been mentioned yet.

    3
    February 27, 2018
    • Richard Wanderman said:

      That’s an excellent point.

      If in fact that were the reason Apple isn’t putting daycare on their campus, it might be in their best interest to discuss it as you have. The idea is to address it, one way or another.

      1
      February 27, 2018

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