The news cycle abounds with stories of finding and holding onto employees of all rank and ability. With business owners and HR Departments constantly faced with that reality, making your workplace as flexible as can be still seems to be out of grasp.
The dreaded message/text, “I got a call from the care facility, can you break free, or do I need to go?” did not exist years ago. Now, nearly 61% of married couples have both parents working (1), and nearly 30% of households in the US are single parent. (2). Compound that with nearly 25% of American households providing care to people age 50 years and over (3) and a business owner/manager cannot ignore the fact that their coworkers may have their minds elsewhere or will very likely need/want to leave or not come in to work due to family matters.
With that being said, it is notable that we winners of the When Work Works Award (4) have nearly 80% of our coworkers strongly agree with the statement, “My supervisor is responsive when I have personal/family business to take care of.” What is more telling, that in a survey of companies around the country posing that same statement, only 53% of employees would strongly agree that their supervisor is responsive to their needs. When that statistic is followed up with the question, “I have the schedule flexibility I need to successfully manage my work and family life.” The average company’s workers that strongly agree with such a statement is at a mere 38%. (For WWW Winners, that number exceeds 70%).
The sooner companies accept the reality that families come first and the employment you are offering is just their means to provide for their families, the sooner you will see that making work and life manageable is the path to employee retention AND recruitment.
- US Dept. of Labor – Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015
- The Atlantic Monthly Group (Sept 3, 2013 article)
- American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
- When Work Works is a national initiative, led by the partnership of Families and Work Institute (FWI) and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM),