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Creating family friendly workplaces

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Working Moms or Dads have become professional jugglers, as they try to arrange schedules to have children picked up/dropped off, attend their school functions, take care of sick or behaviourally challenged children or elderly parents, and they are still expected to be top performers at work on a daily basis. For many, the expectations are stressful, and excellence personally and professionally is never reached. The employer suffers and so does the family. Something has to change and some companies are being proactive and making that change.{{more}}

Why is it important to an employer to help create a family friendly workplace? The 21st century family is changing. The extended family of aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents is no longer around to help share the family burdens and support each other. As a result, individual family members are now bearing more responsibilities and this directly affects their performance at work.

Employees should not feel pressured or guilty, or find it necessary to lie in order to get the time needed to take care of family business, whether it be a sick child/parent or appointments. Unfortunately, this is quite common, and smart companies are now realizing that their bottom line suffers when employees are unhappy.

What do employers gain?

1. Employee retention. Obviously if an employee is happy with his/her job, he/she stays with the employer, thus reducing the cost to hire and train a replacement.

2. Increased productivity. Simply put, lower individual stress levels equal high morale and high productivity.

3. Reduced absenteeism. When employees are allowed to be open about the time needed to take care of family business, they take less time from the job and the matter is taken care of expeditiously.

4. Advantage in hiring staff. Employers with good family policies can easily attract and keep the best employees when hiring, because of their reputation.

Five easy family friendly policies

1. Try to reduce the number of times employees are required to work late at the last minute.

2. Create a day when children can visit their parents’ workplace. “Bring Your Sons and Daughters to Work Day.” This not only builds morale, but it will positively influence the next generation of workers.

3. Consider introducing “Flex Time,” where employees are able to choose when they begin and end their day (e.g., 6 a.m. – 2 p.m., 7 a.m. – 3 p.m., 10 a.m – 6 p.m., etc).

4. Continue to keep parents on maternity/paternity leave abreast of company happenings.

5. Create an environment that makes it easy for employees to take care of sick children and/or parents.

In any society where the family unit is strong, the result is a strong community, workplace and a stable country. With that in mind, employers who are truly concerned about their bottom line will begin to pay close attention to the policies and practices that directly affect their employees.

Karen Hinds is “The Workplace Success Expert.” For a FREE
SPECIAL REPORT on Avoiding Career Killers in the Workplace,
send an email to info@workplacesuccess.com

Visit online at www.workplacesuccess.com

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