Throughout October – National Work & Family Month – we have been looking at a variety of issues and topics affecting working families. Deborah Frett, CEO of the Business and Professional Women’s Foundation, recently wrote an article for The Huffington Post that makes suggestions to help all workplaces become more aware and in touch with their employees. “The Work-Life Tip Sheet: 10 Steps to a Successful Workplace” features flexibility, an important aspect of Corporate Voices’ work, as one key to developing a successful workplace.
Here’s an excerpt from the article:
Successful Workplaces Tip Sheet:
- Flexibility. Maybe there’s no such thing as balance. But at least employers can offer their employees the tools–telecommuting options, shift exchanges, compressed work weeks–to better manage their life inside and outside of the workplace.
- Diversity. It’s more than filling quotas. Define it as broadly as possible for a competitive advantage: race, age, gender, orientation, disability, religion. Because, according to a study out this summer, “the mere presence of social diversity makes people with independent points of view more willing to voice those points of view, and others more willing to listen.”
- Equity. It currently takes 16 months for a woman to earn what a man makes in 12 months. And that’s not even adjusted for race. Make equity in both pay and access for positions and promotions a priority.
- Sustainability. To be environmentally aware, it is no longer enough to recycle newspapers. Reducing one’s carbon footprint by telecommuting, printing documents sparingly and using dishwasher safe flatware are now imperatives to help protect the environment as well minimize operational costs. While we continue to wrestle with the definition of green jobs, we can all strive to work “greener.”
- Care giving. Moms are not the only ones tending to the needs of their families. Care giving applies to the grandmother watching her grandchildren. Or the uncle watching over his injured niece coming back from Afghanistan. Or the father taking in his father to look after him. Allow for flexibility and compassion and your employees will reward you with their productivity.
- Wellness. H1N1 anyone? Paid sick days allows for those that are sick to be sick. And not to have to make the choice between infecting co-workers, prolonged health problems and food on the table.
- Multigenerational. Don’t fall for the hype. Gen Ys aren’t all cry-babies looking for awards. They want to impact the world, they are mission driven and they want your approval. Give it to them.
- Social spaces. Fifty-four percent of employers outright ban the use of social networking sites during work hours. But, companies scoring the highest on an engagement scale saw 18% revenue growth in the past year. Those brands with the least engagement saw revenue decline 6%.
- Retention. Provide mentoring, professional development, career advancement planning and continuing education to keep your talent working for you.
- Practice. Use polices, don’t just have them on the books. Everyone should embrace them, from the CEO to the staff assistant.
Publications, research studies and toolkits on a host of other workforce readiness, flexibility, family economic stability, and work and family balance issues are also available on the Corporate Voices Web site.
By Allison Porton