Managing work and family can be difficult for employees, especially those who are parents and caregivers for sick family members. As more employees have shifted their priority to work-life balance, more companies are offering family-related benefits and perks to support their workforce.
When considering what benefits and perks to offer, you can consider some suggestions below to create a more family-friendly workplace.
1. Flextime work options
Employees can benefit from flextime work options such as shift work, working from home, or a compressed week. For example, parents can drop off kids at school without rushing to work, go camping with their spouses, or spend time with their families. Employers can discuss flextime options with employees to find out what they really need.
2. Educational assistance
Educational costs can be huge whether employees pay for their own education or for their family members’ education. You can offer educational loans and scholarships for your employees and their family members. This will reduce financial stress tremendously, making your company a more attractive place to work for.
Employees who are parents are often overwhelmed with their family lives, especially when they have babies, small children, or elderly relatives at home.
Employers can offer both paid maternity leave and paid paternity leave for new parents. Some other forms of paid leave you can offer include family medical leave that allows employees to care for sick family members and adoption leave. These types of leaves can partly alleviate some of the stress employees are suffering from. When family issues are resolved, they can come back to work more focused and refreshed.
4. Onsite child care
Many moms and dads come to work feeling uneasy and never really keep their minds on their job. It turns out what bothers them is that their kids have just changed to a new daycare center or that they‘ve hired a new babysitter.
Offering onsite child care allows employees to feel at ease knowing that their children are close by. Parents can check on their children during breaks, and the babies go with them to work and leave from work together. Some organizations even have programs that allow parents to bring their babies to work until a certain age. Providing referral services for childcare and allowing employees to bring their kids to work in case of emergencies are also helpful.
5. Child care support
Some businesses offer backup child care when schools close or when employees struggle to find child care for their kids. Some establish partnerships with local child care facilities so that parents don’t have to worry about where to send their kids to. Some pay a portion of child care fees if they can’t offer onsite child care.
If you can’t afford the above options, you can still provide information about child care facilities, including the fees, locations, pros and cons, etc. to help parents make their decisions.
6. Family-involved events
Employers can help foster a family-friendly workplace by organizing events such as outings, parties, and celebrations that involve employees’ family members. Take Your Child to Work Day may be a good day to celebrate if it works for your business.
7. Support for mothers
It can be difficult for new moms and soon-to-be moms. Some states require employers to provide break times for breastfeeding employees to pump their milk. You can set up a private room for moms to do this.
In addition, breastfeeding and pregnancy classes, as well as consultants and support services, are thoughtful ways to help moms at work.
8. Employer-sponsored concierge benefits
When talking about a family-friendly workplace, employers often overlook family-less employees. To make sure they don’t feel left out, you can offer benefits that aren’t always related to children or relatives. Concierge benefits provide help with errands such as lunch delivery, vehicle servicing, laundry, or grocery shopping.
A family-friendly workplace should be genuinely supportive
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to creating a supportive and family-friendly workplace for employees. To offer the right assistance, take the time to get to know your employees and what they need.
In addition to the above benefits, employers should also show genuine support for employees’ work-life balance and family matters. Despite all the enticing benefits, without a supportive environment, employees may avoid using those benefits and seek them elsewhere more supportive.