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California Drought: How HR Can Help


Jim McDonald was quoted in SHRM on April 23, 2015. The article “California Drought: How HR Can Help” discussed how HR professionals can take a leading role in helping organizations comply with the spirit of California Gov. Jerry Brown’s April 1, 2015, executive order to encourage water conservation in the face of the state’s drought.

Jim was quoted on how HR professionals can help with water conservation within the workplace.

“HR professionals, like other members of management, should be on the lookout for ways in which their organization may be wasting water,” said Jim. “Broken sprinklers, overwatering of grass and leaky pipes will be a customer- and public-relations problem as well as an employee-relations concern as more of the public’s focus is placed on the drought. Now is the time to fix these types of problems.”

He added, “The executive order directs water agencies to adopt strategies for conservation. Businesses other than golf courses, cemeteries and home builders—which will be limited in the type of landscaping that may be installed in new home construction—are not addressed directly in the order, but they may be affected later as local water agencies implement conservation plans.

“If a company takes steps to conserve water on account of the drought, HR should take the lead in communicating those actions to employees so that employees understand their company is doing its part,” Jim noted. “HR, however, should resist draconian conservation measures that are likely to be ineffective yet damage morale, such as turning off drinking fountains or eliminating water coolers or urging employees to reduce their restroom breaks!”

To read the full article, please visit SHRM.

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