FOR COMPANIES AND THEIR EMPLOYEES
March 11, 2021
Some of the most successful enterprises worldwide make working parents their top priority.
From a company’s perspective, it’s clear why.
First of all, family-friendly measures seem to significantly increase the productivity of employers (Gray 2002).
Secondly, the chances of being able to properly balance work and parental obligations are decisive for whether job searchers are going to choose one employer over another (Stotz/Wedel 2009).
Put differently, family-friendly policies make companies more productive and attractive.
The question is therefore not whether you should take measures to improve family-friendliness – the question is how.
Here are three ways to start.
1. Find a strategy that fits
Family-friendliness, work-life balance – those are very broad terms that can mean very different things to very different people. The first move towards making your company more parent-friendly is, therefore, to find out about the specific needs of your employees.
If you’re working with a small team, try personal conversations. If you’re representing a big organization, you may want to think about specifically tailored employee satisfaction surveys.
2. Focus on early childhood education
Individual needs may vary but supporting your employees with early childhood education is something that most parents will appreciate.
One way to work towards this is to cooperate with local care organizations. Another option is implementing your own childcare solutions – Google being one famous exponent of this strategy.
In both cases, we can provide you with expert advice to help with the process and improve results.
3. Increase flexibility
Peer-reviewed studies show that allowing for flexibility at the workplace may reduce stress and increase work engagement among working parents (Eek/Axmon 2013).
With this in mind, there are many ways to make your company more flexible. Patagonia, for example, encourages employees to bring their babies on work-related trips. Google, in turn, provides new moms with up to eighteen weeks of paid leave.
Here, too, we are happy to assist you with valuable knowledge and experience to help you choose one strategy over another.
Yet – as with any point in this list – the most important step is to start acting now.
Implementing family-friendly strategies is far from being a trend – it is a knowledge-based and accessible way to make your company more productive and attractive, now and in the future.
Eek, F./Axmon, A. (2013). Attitude and flexibility are the most important work place factors for working parents’ mental wellbeing, stress, and work engagement. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 41: 692–705.
Gray, H. (2002). Family-Friendly Working: What a Performance! An Analysis of the Relationship Between the Availability of Family-Friendly Policies and Establishment Performance. Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics and Political Science, London: UK.
Lauber, V. (2015). Essays in Empirical Family Economics: Investments in Children and Work-Life Balance of Parents. Konstanz: Universität Konstanz.
Stotz, W./Wedel, A. (2009). Employer Branding. München: De Gruyter Oldenbourg.