If you haven’t seen the turnover rate on companies that have bad benefits, you might want to read this.
How can businesses become friendlier?
We are not talking about greeting customers with a smile, offering free samples or saying “thank you.” We are referring to businesses implementing benefits, practices and policies that support employees to thrive while balancing work and family responsibilities, parenting and other family concerns.
Family friendly employers have a competitive advantage:
They attract and retain more top talent, and their employees are more productive and more committed.
Family-friendly employers benefit from reduced employee health care costs, a healthier work environment, and fewer employee absences.
For children and families, the benefits of family-friendly workplaces are numerous and long-lasting. They include positive impacts on health, development and well-being, financial stability and future career success.
According to a Willis Towers Watson survey, almost six in ten employers (59%) say that family-friendly policies have been essential to their talent strategy over the past three years to a great or very great extent, a figure that is expected to grow to 77% in the next three years. The same report indicated that nearly two-thirds of employers (65%) offer family-friendly benefits because they align with their corporate strategy and mission. A similar percentage provides these benefits to support their company’s diversity and inclusion goals and objectives.
50 Employees Starts Different Compliance Issues
Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees are not required to offer benefits or comply with certain labor laws. There is a whole compliance layer that kicks in when businesses hit the 50 employee mark.
Affordable Care Act, which requires employers to offer health insurance to their full-time employees
Family and Medical Leave Act, which requires the company to provide 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave in a 12–month period. For many, this isn’t enough. Many families cannot afford unpaid leave, causing many women to choose between caregiving and work. And women choose caregiving, in mass numbers. Between 2020 and 2021, over 2.3 million women have exited the workforce, dropping the women participation rate to historic lows since 1988, a Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) report said. To support the work-life balance of all employees, companies started offering their own parental leave policies beyond the federal minimum, according to SHRM, such as:
- Paid maternity leave, including family/parental leave (53%)
- Paid paternity leave, including family/parental leave (44%)
- Paid parental leave (39%)
The Benefits Are Worth The Cost
While we realize that some of these benefits are costly, employee turnover carries a high price tag and affects productivity and company culture. SHRM reported that on average it costs a company 6 to 9 months of an employee’s salary to replace him or her.
Here are ideas of other family friendly business practices – some of which carry significant price tags while others do not.
Flexible work arrangements
Remote work, setting their own hours, Flex-time (i.e., total hours are same but split them up as desired during any given day)
Compressed work week (e.g., 10 hrs/day, 4 days/wk)
Job sharing (i.e., two people share same position and divide work tasks)
Part-time / Reduced / Adjusted schedule (X hrs/wk for commensurate reduction in pay)
Ability to take paid time during work day for family matters
Provide a set schedule two weeks in advance for those who must work onsite
Accommodations for expectant and new mothers
Breaks as often as needed
Paid time off for medical appointments (on top of regular PTO)
Temporary adjustments to work requirements (e.g., to lifting requirements)
Policy modifications, such as exceptions to a dress code or relaxed “no food or drink” and “no-sitting” policies
Dedicated, private lactation room (with an electrical outlet)
Refrigerator for storage of breastmilk
Scheduled lactation breaks (minimum 15 min per 2-3 hours)
Ability to bring baby to work
- Child care at onsite facility
- Emergency back-up child care
- Child care resources
- Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) that offers referral services
Health and Wellness Benefits
- Provide health care coverage options (medical, dental, vision, mental health/EAP, short term disability) for employees and dependents with partial or full premium payment
- Offer the coverage on day one of employment
- Provide health services on-site for employees (e.g., flu shots, on-site nurse, etc.)
Performentor consultants recently engaged with Family Forward NC (FFNC) on the creation of a North Carolina Employer Certification for employers to showcase their family-friendly policies. FFNC is an initiative of the nonprofit North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation (NCECF). This initiative designates employers that offer policies and practices which support the health and well-being of working families and children using NCECF’s Pathways to Grade-Level Reading Measures of Success and Action Framework and guidance from medical and early childhood organizations across NC and the country.
To achieve certification, an employer must offer best-practice policies in one or more of five main areas:
- paid leave and wages;
- accommodations for pregnant and breastfeeding workers;
- child care;
- health and wellness benefits; and
- scheduling practices.
For more information about the certification and to view an entire array of free employer resources related to family-friendly benefits and policies, please visit Family Forward NC.
Learn more and start a conversation
Contact us for more information about Performentor’s fractional HR services and how we work with clients to assist them in managing team productivity. We are here to help businesses conduct smart, practical, and flexible HR solutions.