Professional Education and Career Blog

Four Family-Friendly Policies That Can Improve the Bottom Line

friendlyWith the two-working-parent family being the norm in the workplace, more employees are looking for companies that recognize the need for policies that promote family-work balance. Some managers worry that these policies could hurt the company in difficult economic times, but if the policies are well designed, they can actually improve productivity and lead to better profit and long-term company health. Here are four ideas that can have your employees singing the praises of the company.

1) Flex Time

It may come as a surprise to many employers that “flexibility” is listed as the number one aspect of many employee’s ideal job. But according to the Society for Human Resource Management, only about half of employers offer flextime, which is the ability for an employee to adjust their hours based on their needs. The advantages to the employee are obvious, but studies show that employees with flexibility end up taking less personal time off.

Employees with flex-time tend to be happier at work. IBM found that when they implemented better flexibility policies, retention of their employees improved significantly.

2) Telecommuting

Allowing employees to work from home, or Telecommuting, has been a growing trend among high-tech companies, and is spreading among lower-tech companies as well. According to Global Workplace Analytics, 36% of employees would choose telecommuting options over a pay raise, and in fact, a poll of 1,500 technology professionals showed that 37% would take a 10% pay cut if they could work from home.

They estimate that 78% of employees who call in sick actually needed time-off because of family emergencies or personal needs. Building this time into a policy can allow people to take care of their business during the work day, but also establish an expectation of getting work done during other hours.

Future trends are predicting that younger employees who grew up with the idea of remote interaction are particularly open to this style of working. Flexibility could be a key recruiting tactic to attract top-flight talent from this generation.

balance23) Quality Child Care

A growing trend in corporate America is establishing high quality, reliable child care centers on-site, which allows employees to do their jobs while knowing their children are close by and cared for. The advantages of this policy are numerous. Employees are much happier and much more likely to stay with their employer. They miss fewer workdays because of child-care issues. Since child-care can be done in a much more efficient way, the costs may be lower for the employer than it would be for the employee, meaning the benefit can be overall a lower cost than an increased salary.

Many companies have sprung up recent years specializing in providing on-site child care because of the increase in demand for these sort of services.

4) Compressed Workweek

One policy that has gained traction in recent years is the idea of the four-day workweek, with each day being 10 work hours. This policy gives a day during the week where personal business can be dealt with, such as doctor’s appointments or any other services that typically can’t be done on weekends or evenings. This has great advantages for the employee beyond the extra day off, such as reduced commute times and fuel costs.

This type of structure is not for every company, but where it can work, many employees have reported that they love the schedule.