Do you work for a company that expects you to respond to emails at all hours of the night? or worse, while you are on vacation with your family? Several studies, including one from Modern Family Index have uncovered that these long and unnecessary hours, that you are being asked to work is damaging to family life, with several employees feeling obliged to work longer hours to meet expectations. In other words, constantly sacrificing family time, all in the name of work.
6 ways to support working parents is an insightful article written by Sharon Florentine for CIO.com and reads, in part:
One of the simplest strategies Levin recommends is flexibility. Whether through remote or flexible work arrangements, job-sharing, staggered hours or otherwise, working parents need flexibility. “Parents need to be able to go to doctor’s appointments, their kids’ baseball games, school conferences or to work from home if their child is sick. We say around here, ‘if it’s working at home, it’s working at work,’ so you have to make sure you’re doing what you can to make it work for parents at home,” Levin says.
Dependent care assistance
You don’t have to offer an on-site daycare, though many progressive businesses do, but you should consider offering some type of subsidy for child care assistance, Levin says. If you have child-free workers, consider offering elder care or another comparable benefit. Not only do these kinds of benefits, inspire loyalty, but they’re a great perk to mention when you’re trying to attract and hire talent.
Paid parental leave
Modern dads are more engaged than ever in all aspects of caregiving. As of 2010, fathers are the primary caregivers for about 25 percent of preschool-aged kids, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. While the federal government mandates parental leave under the Family Medical Leave Act, that time is unpaid, leaving many two-parent working families trying to make ends meet without one income. It’s even more difficult for single parents.
Create affinity groups
Another simple way to support working parents that is gaining traction is through the creation of support and/or affinity groups. “We are seeing informal, casual affinity groups working really well in the business world. For instance, a group for new moms to help them integrate back into the workplace, or a group for working dads to connect with each other,” Levin says. It can be a great way for employees to share information about perks and benefits, and to connect more closely with others at their company who are facing the same challenges.
Offer on-site perks
One of the major challenges faced by working parents is time, says Levin. Between work, household responsibilities and the demands of everyday life, it can seem impossible to get it all done.
Set an example for all parents
Companies are motivated by financial incentives, and you can’t afford for people to jump ship. Family benefits enhance productivity, keep people much more focused and they’re appreciative. Your turnover is reduced. It helps with recruiting talent, too, because while candidates might not ask out loud about these benefits, they go to Glassdoor and read about them, and that helps them want to work for you,” Levin says.
Some of today’s progressive-thinking companies offers several incentives to entice talent that include; games night, free snacks, coffee and tea. But, if your company wants to attract really good talent, and your list of perks does not include support for working parents, it’s time to redo that list. In the end, it is not only the right thing to do, it will also increase workforce productivity.