On October 13, Women United will recognize three Stark County workplaces for creating Family-Friendly Workplaces environments. These workplaces have established policies that help employees more easily fulfill both family and work obligations and for sustained these policies during the COVID-19 pandemic (March through July).
Why making our workplaces family-friendly is important
What does the phrase “Family-Friendly Workplace” Mean? A family-friendly workplace or employer is one whose policies make it possible for employees to more easily balance family and work, and to fulfill both their family and work obligations.
Examples of family-friendly policies:
- Flex-time. For employees with family obligations, control of their time may be the most valuable benefit an employer can give. Depending upon the organization, flex-time gives employees complete freedom to design their own work schedule, or choose from among several set options (working a 4-day, rather than a 5-day week, for instance).
- Parental leave. This is a short-term option that allows a parent to take an afternoon or a day off to pick up a sick child at school or tend to one at home, attend a school performance or athletic event, or otherwise minister to a child’s needs.
- Employee and family health benefits. These may include not only generous health and dental insurance policies, but on-site wellness centers,on-site fitness centers or subsidies for joining a gym, and even health-and-fitness-oriented programs for employees’ children or partners.
- Child care. On-site day care isn’t the only option here. An employer might subsidize employees’child care, paying all or some part of approved arrangements. Other possibilities are to provide referrals to reliable child care, or reserve slots at particular facilities for employees’ children.
- Elder care. Although very few employers, if any, actually provide elder day care or home care,many provide resources and referrals - and even subsidies - for such care.
- Tuition for employee education.
- College scholarships or loans for employees' children. An employer may award scholarships on a merit or need basis to the children of employees, or may actually pay or lend some amount of tuition for each employee’s child who attends college.
A growing number of employers are realizing they need to adapt to the 21st century workforce and find new ways to accommodate the changing family structure. Adopting flexible workplace policies successfully attracts and retains talented and committed employees.
Many local organizations go beyond what’s legally required to help employees balance work and life. Family-friendly policies result in higher customer satisfaction, increased cost savings and profits, higher return on investment and reduces presenteeism.
- Smart investment. According to the Sloan Center on Aging and Work at Boston College, implementing workplace flexibility enhances recruitment, improves employee performance and productivity, increases retention and reduces turnover, results in better customer coverage and higher levels of customer satisfaction, increases cost savings and profits, provides high return on investment and reduces absenteeism.
- Benefits both men and women. The number of men requesting flexible work arrangements has increased dramatically. According to a 2011 study, 95% of working fathers agreed that workplace flexibility would impact their decision when considering a new job; more than three-quarters reported using flex-time on a formal or informal basis; 57% worked from home at least some part of the time; and 27% utilized compressed work weeks.
- Improves employee productivity, morale and retention. The Urban Institute at Georgetown Law School report that employees with access to flexible work arrangements tend to be more satisfied, committed, and engaged with their jobs, which leads to increased innovation, quality, productivity, market share, and employee retention.
- Promotes gender diversity and gender balance in leadership. By offering flexible work arrangements, companies retain more talented women and are able to increase the number of women in leadership roles. Flexible work arrangements have also been shown to increase job retention among lower income women, leading to greater workplace experience and skills, career advancement, and higher earnings and retirement benefits.
RECIPIENTS OF FAMILY-FRIENDLY WORKPLACE AWARDS
- Synchrony Financial (2020)
- Buckeye State Credit Union (2020)
- Massillon Museum (MassMu) (2020)
- MAC Trailer (2019)
- CommQuest Services, Inc. (2019)
- The Karcher Group (2019)
- TimkenSteel (2018)
- Employers Health (2018)
- Schauer Group (2018)
- Aultman Health Foundation (2017)
- Domestic Violence Project, Inc. (2017)
LINKS TO MORE INFORMATION
- Promoting family-friendly policies in business and government
- Business case for Family-Friendly policies
- United Way ALICE
- The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
- IRA Answers Questions on Paid Family and Medical Leave Tax Credit
- Care Giving in the US 2015 Report
- Workplace Flexibility and Low Wage Workers
- Build a stable labor force
- How employers can help parents give their children the best start in life
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