Advantages of a Family-Friendly Workplace
The Business Case
Ask CEOs about the secret to their success and many say they find the right people at the right time and help them do their best work. Others say they treat their employees like family, earning their loyalty and dedication. Ask employees about working for a family-friendly employer and many say that they feel happy, healthy and supported at their job.
THE IMPORTANCE TO EMPLOYERS AND EMPLOYEES
According to the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, the region is experiencing near full employment and continued solid growth. With this success comes challenges for businesses, most notable of which is that in a low unemployment environment, competition for talent is high, making it difficult to recruit and retain talent.
Research indicates family-friendly workplace practices result in increased productivity, improved loyalty and commitment, and resilient, happier and healthier employees. Bottom-line benefits to employers include improved on-boarding, less turnover and lower absenteeism. In addition, family-friendly practices allow your employees to invest in their children – your future workforce.
Research also shows that first five years of a child’s life is a crucial window for healthy development, with long range impacts that depend on all of us. Family-friendly employment can help parents build safe, stable and nurturing relationships and environments for young children.
Austin thrives when our children thrive because they are our future citizens, workforce, and leaders. Employers of every size and industry in every corner of our region can play an important role in assuring all children reach their full potential. Even though most employers are not directly involved in raising children, their support for family-friendly workplace practices is good for business and good for Austin.
The Family-Friendly Workplace Toolkit is designed to help employers explore the benefits of family-friendly workplaces, assess current business practices, identify opportunities for potential change, and connect employees with local family resources. We believe that supportive policies and practices increase organizational productivity and support the physical and emotional health of employees and their families. We hope will consider how these options may be incorporated at your business.
SOCIETY AND FAMILIES HAVE AND WILL CONTINUE TO CHANGE
Fifty years ago, more than half of American children were growing up with married parents, a father employed full-time and a mother who was not in the workforce.
TODAY, ONLY ONE IN FIVE CHILDREN LIVE IN SUCH A FAMILY.
Over the past 50 years, households in which all adults are employed outside the home has increased from 40 percent to more than 60 percent.
IN AUSTIN, MORE THAN 60% OF ALL CHILDREN UNDER AGE 6 HAVE ALL AVAILABLE PARENTS IN THE WORKFORCE.
Except where a specific legal relationship is defined in law or tax code, the toolkit uses a broad definition of “family” and we encourage you to do the same.
ONE IN FIVE SAME-SEX COUPLES ARE RAISING A CHILD.
Gender norms have changed. A growing number of fathers are taking on the role of the primary caregiver.
IN THE PAST 25 YEARS, THE NUMBER OF FAMILIES WITH A STAY-AT-HOME FATHER AND A WORKING MOTHER HAS DOUBLED.
A CHALLENGE AND AN OPPORTUNITY
Several studies indicate that family-friendly benefits and practices can lead to many important organizational outcomes. Employees are multidimensional; they have personal lives, family responsibilities and competing demands on their time and attention. Family-friendly employers have a competitive advantage to attract and retain skilled employees. Increasingly, the millennial workforce expects family- friendly practices at the workplace. In fact, 83% of millennials say that they would leave their jobs for one with more family-friendly benefits. In a competitive employment environment, it’s essential for employers to position themselves for success.
These practices lead to an increase of job satisfaction and engagement, diversity, employee referrals, and the attraction of the right people to the organization. This is good news for employers concerned about costs associated with implementing such practices. These practices can also decrease many negative outcomes such as, absenteeism and turnover. Participants in a robust study reported that offering work-life benefits and practices had a 57% reduction in employees’ stress levels. The most impact on positive employee outcomes occurred when organizations offered benefits AND fostered a culture of organizational work-life support.