Family Friendly Work Places Help Keep Your Best Employees

Family Friendly Work Places Help Keep Your Best Employees

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.”
Source: ”Paychex”

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.

Pay Me What I’m Worth!

By Carrie S Ahmad, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Large Companies are Leading the Way for Higher Wages

Starbucks, Whole Foods, Ben & Jerry’s, IKEA, The Gap, Aetna, McDonald’s, Walmart, TJ Maxx, and Costco. What do these highly visible brands have in common? They are at the forefront of paying their employees a living wage. Ben & Jerry’s defines a livable wage as “enough to allow for a quality of life that includes decent housing, health care, transportation, food, recreation, savings, and miscellaneous expenses.” Ben & Jerry’s livable wage in 2013 was $16.13 for full-time hourly employees. That is almost twice the federal minimum wage! Learn more about Ben & Jerry’s livable wage by clicking here.

Build Loyalty and Reduce Turnover

An exciting trend is beginning to occur in the marketplace in which businesses are realizing that by providing their employees with a living wage, they build loyalty, reduce turnover, ignite productivity, and improve their bottom line. Mark Bertolini, CEO of Aetna, said Aetna increased the pay of low wage employees to $16/hour to reduce the worry and stress these employees feel just trying to make ends meet. Bertolini believes that even if the wage increase doesn’t impact the bottom line, it is the right thing to do for his people. Do you agree? Listen to and read more from Bertolini.

The High Cost of Replacement

For an entry-level employee, it can cost up to 40% of the individual’s annual salary to replace him or her should he/she decide to leave your organization. Let’s say you run a call center with 100 employees making $10/hour. The average turnover rate for call centers is 26%. In this scenario, if you have 26 employees, who are paid $20,800/year, decide to leave your organization you are looking at replacement costs of $216,320 (26*10*2080*.40). That is nearly a quarter million dollars to replace 26 low-wage employees. What if you could stop the money bleed by communicating value and understanding to your employees? What if you could build employee loyalty that drastically reduced your turnover rate? Would you do it?

The Right Pay for the Right People

You can pay employees what they are worth! You can provide your people a livable wage that reduces their stress, empowers them, and keeps them engaged when they are at work. At Turning the Corner, LLC, we work with small businesses to identify ways to hire right the first time, pay employees what their experience and skills are worth, and retain people to keep hiring costs low. Let us help you help your people!

Carrie Ahmad, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
Carrie is Turning the Corner’s VP of People. She has been advocating for the success of businesses and their employees for 18 years supporting start-ups, small businesses and large corporations. She holds certifications as both a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) from HRCI and Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) from the Society for Human Resource Management. She serves the local HR community as a member of BAHRA’s (Boulder Area HR Association) Treasury Committee.

Stop The Epidemic of Bad Management

Stop The Epidemic of Bad Management

By Drew Bonder, MSIO
Director of Business Services, Turning the Corner, LLC

You’ve Been Promoted – NOW WHAT?

Envision this. You’re an “A” player at your company. You exceed quota month after month, quarter after quarter, year after year. You’re the safe bet for any project and well recognized throughout the company. You’re the ambitious type, so OF COURSE, you’ve expressed that you aspire to keep growing in the company, however possible.

FINALLY, there’s a management position open and you’ve been told that this is the best opportunity to grow in the company!!! You’re getting a big raise too! Oh, the excitement! But wait… “I’ve never managed before, how do I do this?” But, leadership has always relied on you to be the “independent, self-motivated” type and certainly weren’t expecting to have to spend a lot of time with you. It’s like finding out you have the “bad management” illness and now you have to figure out how to cure it!

New Managers Don’t Have to Be Patient Zero

People, this is a common scenario. Suddenly, this “A” player is thrown into an entirely new world of challenges that come with management. This person is now one of the most important people in his employee’s lives, and he’s charged with being their coach, leader, mentor, and director. WOW, no stress, right?! Even more, the success of the employees under this new manager largely hinges on their ability to create and communicate clear objectives, while still being attentive to the ‘human element.’ The new manager will have an impact on your organization whether it is positive or negative.

Of course, we would want to arm this person with all of the skills needed to be the best manager they can be, and continue to be that “A” player in their new role?? Nope, so many companies don’t see this as necessary. Their leaders never got trained on this stuff and ‘are doing just fine,’ so why make an unnecessary investment to give this person the requisite skills to be great at their job. The grim reality is times are often not as smooth sailing for these kinds of leaders as they might lead you to believe. They frequently do WAY more hand holding than they’d like, along with many other challenges they face which might have been avoided if they got the appropriate training themselves.

Train Your New Manager to be an “A” Player Leader

Let’s take a deeper look at this. Imagine the stress this new manager has. They were always the Rockstar of the group and now maybe they’re struggling to get their employees to do what they need to hit quota month after month, quarter after quarter (and sometimes year after year). They try a lot of approaches to motivate their employees and drive results, but nothing’s working.

Now they’re stressed, their employees are floundering OR LEAVING, and the leadership is extremely disappointed and stressed (Their “A” player is no longer an “A” player). Remember though, this new manager wants to do a great job. They are self-motivated and reliable. They just need to get a strong understanding of what they need to do to be successful.

Strong Management Training Steers Your Company

Would you want a pilot driving your plane without any formal training? I sure wouldn’t. Their ability to fly and land that plane successfully affects a lot of people. Managers are REALLY important to a lot of people as well. Although, usually nobody is going to die if managers do a bad job! They’re just going to disengage and be emotionally drained. Bad management is contagious, and unless you train your managers, it will trickle down to your employees, your customers, and potential new clients.

Invest In Your Managers and Your Company

Moral of the story. As leaders, invest the time and resources to make your managers great. Give them the training they need. You’re making sure your software developers, financial analysts, etc., are getting trained right? How could they ever do a great job if they never got the training? Different skills for sure, but managers need the investment as well. AND managers, invest in yourselves to be great!

For more information please call Drew Bonder at 720.446.8876 ext. 7, or click here to schedule an appointment.

Visit to learn more out our Management Training Series.

Are Your Employees Leaving?

By Carrie S Ahmad, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

A recent study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that 45% of employees who feel satisfied in their current jobs are open to seeking a new position. That’s almost half of all satisfied employees! These are not your disgruntled, unmotivated employees. These are the folks who you, the employer, believe are content and not going anywhere. Are you ready for those team members to walk out the door?

In the current job market companies and recruiters are poaching top talent left and right to fill their open positions. How does a company stop their good people from leaving for a new opportunity? At Turning the Corner, we have seen patterns emerge over the last year as to why people are looking to leave their current jobs.

Some of those key reasons for employees leaving are:

  • Lack of flexibility and work-life balance
  • Not feeling connected to a mission they believe in
  • Too much time spent commuting to/from work
  • Being enticed by better compensation and benefits packages
  • Disappointment in management and leadership
  • Wanting to feel like they have a voice and can make an impact
  • Desire to work in a role that utilizes and values their strengths

Do you Know What Your Team Needs?

Take time to honestly evaluate if you are an organization that supports these needs and desires of employees. If not, are there small tweaks you can make that cost little but make a big impact and boost employee loyalty?

  • Consider allowing employees to adjust their hours to avoid rush hour commutes.
  • Help employees see how their role fits into the larger picture of the organization. When they complete tasks or projects affirm their hard work and explain to them how their piece completes the puzzle and why it’s important.
  • Give employees opportunities to express ideas and brainstorm solutions to challenges your organization is facing.

How Flexible is Your Company?

As we begin to meld several generations together and head into a skills shortage, workplace flexibility is going to become more and more important. Parents want to be available for their kids; Millennials thrive on having time to explore life and hobbies outside of work; and Boomers aren’t ready to leave the workforce but desire a balance between challenging work and preparing for retirement. Providing flexibility to your employees speaks volumes about your level of trust in them and your willingness to care for them.

Instill Loyalty

Find ways to build loyalty among your staff so when the recruiter rings their phone or drops them an email hoping to poach them, the response they hear is “No thank you, I’m happy in my current role and not looking to leave.”

Outplacement and Your Organization

Outplacement and Your Organization

By Carrie S Ahmad, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

We recently partnered with several organizations to provide outplacement resources and support to their employees in the midst of layoffs due to restructuring and acquisitions. Reductions in force create a stressful time for everyone involved – the employees who lose their jobs, the managers who have to reduce their staff, and the remaining employees who feel the emotional and productivity toll of co-workers leaving.

As our CEO, Kendra Prospero, stresses during keynote speeches, outplacement services sustain a positive relationship with company alumni, current employees, and the local community. Providing support during a difficult career transition shows compassion and helps people to leave with dignity.

Outplacement Services Support Your Employees

Beyond providing a compassionate approach to easing the shock experienced by displaced employees, outplacement support benefits your organization in a number of ways. When retained employees learn that terminated employees were given support by the employer in their new job search, loyalty is built between the current staff and leadership. Additionally, knowing the company “did right” by the exiting employees improves the organization’s employer brand.

Whether you are letting one employee go or a hundred, outplacement support helps terminated workers find work significantly faster thus reducing skills gaps and unemployment. These employees are also more likely to give your company favorable reviews in the future and remain potential re-hires when the economy picks up. And finally, outplacement services may help reduce your liability as a business. When you show fairness and responsibility for your employees, they are more likely to feel positive about your company and less likely to file a lawsuit for the termination.

We will make the Transition Easier

Our team at Turning the Corner has been helping people with their job search for many years, and also helping organizations manage their staff, so we take a realistic approach to helping people find work quickly after a lay-off. We think the best approach is to provide a blended model of face-to-face time as well as web based and self-guided time. We have options for single person dismissals or large corporate layoffs. If you are interested in learning more about these services, contact Carrie Ahmad at or Kendra Prospero at

What I Learned from Harassment Training

What I Learned from Harassment Training

By Shana Gerson, PHR

Yes, Even a Trainer can Learn from Her Class

As an HR professional, I am constantly challenged in my role, but I love my job for many reasons. People are always challenging me and forcing me to look at things in a different way. I have conducted harassment training at least a dozen times over the course of my career and truly believe it’s one of the most important topics for managers and employees. My last session was very enlightening. The employees pushed me to teach this sensitive subject in a different way. Thank you for opening my eyes.

It’s About Respect

I learned the word respect resonates with every employee. While teaching this class, it’s important to note situations can be gray and the level of tolerance with each person is different. Many employees in the class were caught up in the black and white nature of harassment. How do we really know the if the action is truly sexual harassment or harassment? The act itself means different things to different people. So how do we teach this gray area? By teaching them the act of respect.

These employees learned a valuable lesson- respect is the key to making us all feel valuable and heard as employees. If you have to ask yourself, “is this type of behavior a form of harassment?”, chances are it could be. When in doubt, refrain from saying or doing things that might be taken as harassment. We should not concentrate on the word harassment, we should ask ourselves if we are being respectful towards our fellow co-workers. If we don’t feel respected, our engagement, morale, commitment and team work goes down. Never make jokes or comment about someone’s age, race, national origin and gender. All of us bring different ideas and perspectives into the workforce, let’s celebrate our co-worker’s ideas and perspective rather than concentrating on their outside appearance.

Do You Know The Real Cost of Harassment?

The real cost of disrespect and harassment is more than you may think. Harassment and disrespect = disengagement. What is the real cost of disengagement? Having a disengaged workforce can cost up to $2,000 per year per employee. The Gallup Organization estimates that there are 22 million actively disengaged employees costing the American economy as much as $350 billion dollars per year in lost productivity including absenteeism, illness, and other problems that result when employees are unhappy at work. This doesn’t include the cost of lawsuits. Sexual harassment and harassment claims are some of the highest paid employment claims. On average claims can range from $53,000-125,000.

Why You Should Invest

In conclusion, I believe every organization should invest in their harassment training programs. We owe it to our employees to have a safe, respectful environment to work and thrive in. When was the last time you had this kind of training? Or have you ever had this kind of training? Think of it as an investment in your people, you are teaching them to work and thrive with everyone in the workforce. A valuable lesson that can take your organization to new heights.

Click here for more information about Turning the Corner’s HR Support Services or call 720-446-8876 to set an appointment today.

Skip to content