By Shana Gerson, PHR
As a Career Coach, I work with too many people who aren’t happy at their jobs. From CEO’s to barista’s the reasons vary, but the vast majority of my clients want a family friendly work place that has compassion and will allow them the flexibility to take care of their family.
”80% of employees’ say their greatest source of stress is not spending as much time at home.”
More People are Balancing Work and a Hectic Family Life
The world has changed and many of us work full-time without the support of a close, extended family. We try to juggle work demands while caring for a toddler that needs constant attention, the teenager that keeps getting into trouble, and an aging parent that is sick or elderly. Nearly all of us knows how it feels when we’re working late to get a project done and worrying about getting out the door to pick up our kids, or worse, getting a call from school that our child is sick right before a big presentation. Sounds exhausting just talking about it!
Do Employees with Families want to Work for You?
More and more employees are looking for family friendly work environments where they can do the work they love without having to constantly juggle their family commitments. With the extremely low unemployment rates in Boulder and Denver, this should make you stop and think about what your company is offering potential talent. You need to be the employer of choice; gone are the days where people have to convince you to hire them, you also need to convince employees why they should work for you.
Create a Family Friendly Work Place
The first step is to create a flexible environment where employees don’t punch a time clock. You might think it’s hard to create flexibility but we have found it is relatively easy in most environments, you just have to commit to making it happen. Developing core hours where all employees need to be in the office between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM is one way to set this up. Allowing people to work from home one or two days a week can relieve family pressures and increase productivity. These minor changes empower employees to take control of their schedules so they can be there for their families when they need them.
Better Employees equals Better Engagement
You’ll find your employees will work harder and be more engaged at work if they are able to devote the needed time to their families and personal life. Creating part-time job share roles has often allowed companies to hire two more qualified candidates that are able to split a position up into morning and afternoon because they would have been unable to accept full-time positions. Finding ways to help your employees to do their jobs with less outside stress, will make them better employees and more engaged.
Really Listen to what Your Teams are Saying
Another way to foster a family friendly environment is to create an environment where employees can come to you to discuss their family needs and be available to work with them to meet these needs. Obviously not every need can be accommodated, but having an open-door policy that allows every employee to come to you, discuss their needs, and know you will try to support them goes a long way. If someone needs to arrive 15 minutes later and stay 15 minutes later at night to meet obligations, you need to find a way to make it happen. Offer light snacks or food in the break-room for people who have heavy family commitments to make their day easier. Incidentally, this makes your single and younger employees happy as well!
If you can’t meet the immediate needs of an employee, talk to them about other options that may work better for your both. Employees tend to look elsewhere if they feel like they aren’t being heard and their needs are not being met. Which means you could easily lose some of your best people. If they don’t look elsewhere, there is a good chance that they won’t be engaged in what they are doing because they are worried about home life or feel undervalued. This quickly can result in lowered production, increased errors, and low morale company wide.
It’s Up to You
Every organization and industry can create family friendly practices and policies. Once you incorporate this culture into your workforce, you’ll see a boost in productivity because employees will have the opportunity to connect with their families and work. In addition, your teams will become advocates for your company or organization and tell others why they love working there. If you look around at some of the most successful companies today you will realize that nearly all of them, have some form of family friendly programs in place. It’s time you do too.
For more information on how you can create a family friendly environment click here to schedule a free call or meeting.