Here are some startling statistics: at least 15 percent of people feel they have been treated as though they weren’t committed to their profession because they have children. Also, 10 percent believe they have been passed over for an important project or task, while seven percent have been overlooked for a promotion for the same reason.
This does not describe a family-friendly workplace. What exactly does “family-friendly” mean, though, in the context of work?
A family-friendly workplace understands and supports the fact that, for many employees, their workday doesn’t end after their final email or meeting of the day. Employees with families have children to feed, clothes to wash, band-aids to apply, and bills to pay. Work and home duties must reach a balance, each supporting the other.
Employers can support work-life balance for employees with family commitments, but first it’s necessary to acknowledge that all employees have lives and responsibilities outside of their job. Beyond this basic affirmation, what does a family-friendly workplace look like?
- Providing benefits that support employees across all life stages in balancing and integrating work and family responsibilities
- Improving the well-being for employees, their children, and the loved ones they care for
- Better gender equality outcomes in the workplace
- Flexible working hours, company-paid family health insurance, substantial parental leave, caregiving leave and bereavement leave
Many of your employees are taking care of their families in a variety of ways. Employers can take a more active support role by fostering a family-friendly workplace and building an environment where employees have the resources they need to develop and flourish in work and life. This involves prioritizing your employees and their needs to help them feel supported by their managers and overall work policies.
So, why is building or expanding a family-friendly work culture so important?
5 Reasons to Build a Family-Friendly Workplace
1. More equitably serve a diverse workforce
Since the beginning of 2020, more than 5 million women were pushed out of the workforce, primarily due to childcare and caregiving challenges. Despite wanting to work full time, Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) women are more likely to be hired only for part-time positions. At least 16 percent of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ+) employees report having lost a job due to their sexuality. Women, people of color, LGBTQ+ associates – they make up your workforce and have families as well.
A family-friendly workplace ensures the rights of everyone – particularly those from historically marginalized communities. Having family-friendly workplace policies is one way to demonstrate your company’s commitment to social justice and equality.
Flexible work arrangements, generous parental leave, and fertility benefits demonstrate your company’s commitment to a family-friendly culture. The same benefits should be offered across the board to all employees.
2. Attract top talent
At least 73 percent of employers are having difficulty attracting employees. This impacts long-term organizational performance. Many job seekers now consider family-friendly benefits as a factor when searching for a new job and 88 percent of people would consider switching professions to gain access to fertility benefits alone.
Family-friendly policies are essential to the majority of employers as part of their talent strategy. If your company hasn’t yet built a competitive and comprehensive benefits package that incorporates family-friendly perks – now is the time. Some sought-after benefits include:
- Paid parental leave – including maternity, paternity and adoption leave
- Flexible work arrangements and hours
- Childcare assistance
- Financial and legal planning
- Coverage of fertility services
- Caregiving support
- Paid bereavement leave
3. Promote a positive workplace culture
A family-friendly workplace allows working parents, particularly women, to progress in their careers. Providing more accessible growth opportunities equitably boosts employee morale, improves brand image, and increases ease of employee recruitment and retention. Benefits and policies empowering employees to balance work and family ultimately result in a positive and improved workplace culture.
Ask your employees what policies and benefits would be most desirable for them and listen to their suggestions. Consistently communicate with employees through anonymous surveys, focus groups, or one-on-one conversations. If you discover many of your employees are caregivers to disabled or elder family members, providing additional benefits designed to assist their specific situation can go a long way to career satisfaction and employee loyalty.
4. Reduce absenteeism, increase retention
Nearly 30 percent of women leave the labor force after having a child. That number, however, can be reduced by up to 20 percent with the implementation of paid parental leave policies. Having access to paid family leave improves the likelihood that employees will return to their jobs rather than leave the labor force or take time off to search for a new job.
The majority of parents are also concerned about the costs of childcare. More than 51 percent of parents say they spend more than 20 percent of their household income on childcare. This can lead to parents taking second jobs, changing jobs, reducing hours at work, or leaving a job or the workforce entirely.
Providing care to elder or disabled loved ones can also lead to employees leaving the workforce. Nearly 40 percent of caregivers quit their job or reduce their work hours to care for an elder relative.
Providing generous paid family leave, childcare and caregiver benefits including flexible hours, stipends, discounts, and cost reimbursements allows employees to keep up with their responsibilities at home without resorting to absenteeism or leaving the workforce entirely.
5. Increase productivity
Offering employees support that allows them to care for loved ones while remaining on top of their daily tasks is vital. In fact, 43 percent of employees say that working flexible hours helped them achieve greater productivity.
When employees are less stressed about their home life and obligations, they are more likely to be able to focus on their work. Implement workplace flexibility and family-friendly policies to boost employee productivity, engagement, and overall job satisfaction.
Strengthen your workforce with a focus on family-friendly benefits
Employees are with their employers during some of the most productive years in their lives. To attract and retain the best teams, employers must increase the amount of support they provide to employees becoming parents, caring for children, and providing care for elderly or disabled family members.
Not only do family-friendly workplace policies and benefits draw the attention of top talent, they also more fairly serve a greater number of employees and increase retention. With fewer absences, increased productivity, and a reputation for offering family-friendly benefits, your company can see a marked positive impact in your workforce and make employees feel valued as people.
When people flourish, organizations thrive.
Contact us today to learn how Aduro can support the well-being of your employees.