17: Parents at Work – HR Dads Part 1 & Part 2 Combined

In The Episode


In today’s episode of Parents at Work, Tom Spiggle and co-host, Lori Mihalich-Levin, introduces us to 2 working dads in the HR field: Wiley Simmons and Adam Calli. Human resources are generally a women-dominated industry, yet men contribute unique and valuable perspective.

Wiley Simmons is a single father of 2 and came to the HR field through a complete accident. Having an executive and administrative assistant background, he took an admin assistant temp job in the human resources field, and his boss was so impressed with his work, he was offered a position as a benefits coordinator. What he found was that with being prior military, the rules and regulations of the HR profession, as well as his enjoyment of helping people and interacting with staff, turned out to be the perfect career choice for him.

Adam Calli is the proud father of 2 and an HR professional. He is also the principal consultant and founder of the human resources consulting firm, Arc Human Capital, LLC. Prior to working in HR and having children, hotel operations was Adam’s specialty, but it was not especially conducive to a family life. He did something quite revolutionary for 2002: he saved up his leave time and took 3 weeks FMLA leave after the birth of his son.

Both HR and non-HR professionals alike will enjoy hearing this discussion on industry trends, and finding that perfect balance between work and life. There’s something for everyone here. Please join us!

Adam R. Calli, MSM, SHRM-SCP, SPHR

Principal Consultant

Show Highlights

– Hard to trust HR personnel when you’re on the other side of the fence
– HR doesn’t get the accolades as a profession that it deserves
– Allowing time off to take care of family issues
– A support system is extremely important
– Parents need time off, too
– Mandatory leave law
– Talking to a therapist as a way to maintain balance
– Dealing with mental health issues
– Taking care of yourself and enjoying parenthood
– Watching other parents and deciding what kind of parent you want to be
– Why more companies are becoming interested in paid parental leave plans
– How the opportunity to utilize technology makes it easier for today’s parents to be more productive
– Why the “work/life balance” terminology is becoming obsolete
– The “work/life blending” concept is more practical for today
– Work and life is still just life
– Why progressive companies will accept and embrace the blending concept
– Old-school-mentality companies are in danger of fading out
– Hyper-efficiency as a brand new parent
– Which generations might be less accepting of this work/life blending
– HR availability to remote workers
– Helicopter parents
– Families being committed to everything but the family
– The value to committing to your children and your community
– Learning how to say no and understanding the commitment of saying yes
– Being a victim of your own success
– Encouraging employees to tap into the employee assistance program
– How a phone is critical technology when managing multiple people
– The benefit of family-shared calendars / apps
– How to teach our children time management as members of the family
– Time management is an incredibly valuable skill to have no matter what your field


“We try to follow the ‘Family First’ mantra, so allowing someone to take time off to take care of family needs, is important.” – Wiley Simmons

“There’s nothing wrong with speaking to a therapist. There’s nothing wrong with seeking professional help. We all sometimes feel overwhelmed and over-burdened, and speaking to someone is a very good way to keep a good balance between all of the things you’re trying to juggle as a single parent. Do not be afraid to seek professional help.” – Wiley Simmons

“I remember talking to a friend of mine and he had kids before I did. He told me something profound. And that is, that a lot of people will talk about how difficult it is having children, but they don’t tell you how deeply you’ll fall in love with your children.” – Tom Spiggle

“We’ve seen things starting to change in a good way, but it’s fairly recent that we’ve seen a lot of public support and this groundswell for making sure that fathers take leave, as well.” – Tom Spiggle

“Thanks to that magical, mystical thing we call the internet, and social media, everybody can know what other companies are doing, or not doing, as the case may be.” – Adam Calli

“You don’t have time for all the so called potentially wasted hours spent either chatting in from the water cooler, or talking about the sports, or gossiping about people or events or whatever because you have to be laser focused on getting your job done.” – Lori Mihalich-Levin

“HR, by nature of what we do and what we are, we’re supposed to be the people who are paying attention to these things, and following the trends, and creating the trends. I mean, if you’re an advanced, progressive company, you’re like, how can we do something our competitors are not doing, so that we’re cutting edge?” – Adam Calli

“You’re not meant to be the Mom to all the employees. There are some correlations and similarities to parenthood i would think in terms of taking care of an employee population, but it’s not possible to parent to everyone within the company.” – Lori Mihalich-Levin

Thanks for listening!

17: Parents at Work – HR Dads Part 1 & Part 2 Combined

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17: Parents at Work – HR Dads Part 1 & Part 2 Combined

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17: Parents at Work – HR Dads Part 1 & Part 2 Combined

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17: Parents at Work – HR Dads Part 1 & Part 2 Combined

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