Employers, why should you care about family-friendly policies?
In this time of economic rebound, it may not be self-evident as to why you, the employer, need to be thinking about family-friendly policies. In fact during the recession, it was most likely that the family-friendly aspects of aid with daycare tuition and sponsorship of parenting groups were cut first as unnecessary company expenses. However, the economy is on the upswing and it’s time to look again at attracting your best employees, many of whom0 may be new mothers reentering the workplace or women with families. Adopting family-friendly policies will not only attract the best kind of employee but it will also inspire loyalty in your current workforce. And ultimately, these things will help your bottom line.
A family-friendly workplace or employer is one whose policies make it possible for employees to easily balance family and work, and to fulfill both their family and work obligations. These policies can take the form of: parental leave for the birth of a child or an adoption, flexible emergency leave in case of a medical emergency, child care – either help with tuition or on-site, parenting support groups, telecommuting, flexible shifts or a distribution of the work week, and employee tuition for furthering their education in your field. These are just a few ways that companies show their employees that they value them and that they want to help them have a balance between family and work. And here are some of the reasons how a family-friendly work environment will help you, the employer.
1. Recruit and Hire the Best – By offering several different options for childcare, for example, scheduling or added flexibility with telecommuting, you can be assured that you’re attracting the top tier of potential employees. The woman with the extensive education and invaluable work experience will be more likely to apply for your job position if you have policies that will help her work-life balance especially if she has children or is caring for an elderly parent. You will have a wider pool of applicants, giving you more of a choice in selecting the very best.
2. Increase Retention and Employee Loyalty – Giving your employees more options in their work life gives them more control. Even if it’s a fast-paced, high stress position, giving your employee tools to cope with the stress and policies that help keep her family and work life in balance will keep her motivated. It will also translate into increased loyalty and productivity. Remember, your current employees are some of the best marketers for your company, and family-friendly policies will inspire their confidence in you as their employer. Employees want to know that you care about them.
3. Reduce Stress – Stress can literally be a killer, but with policies like flexible medical leave or family leave in the event of a new baby, you can help your employees manage their stress better which helps them work better. Family friendly policies can help with some of life’s biggest stresses like having a baby, (it’s a good stress but it’s still a stress) or an ill parent, or an accident. Your company’s support during these life altering events will enable your employee to continue working and working efficiently.
Even if you’re mainly concerned with the bottom line, family-friendly policies will only help it. They inspire confidence and loyalty in your current employees, boost retention, and help you hire the best possible potential employees. Even better, you will increase their quality of life both at work and at home, and that will translate into more sales and bigger profit because they will look forward to working for you and excelling at their job. And that’s the best kind of bottom line to have.
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