When interviewing for a job, how do you really know if the employer offers family-friendly policies, including flexible work schedules? That’s the subject of an informative article in the Miami Herald by Cindy Krischer Goodman, “Dream job offer? Here’s how to make sure it’s not a nightmare in disguise.”
Goodman talked to a number of experts who offered a number of tips to job seekers, including the following: check the organization’s website, talk to current and former employees, review “best company” lists available online, take advantage of your social network and consider Google and other Internet searches.
Among those interviewed for the article was Stephen M. Wing, President of Corporate Voices for Working Families. He shared a number of perspectives based on the research conducted over the years by Corporate Voices and from the best practices of our partner companies. Here’s from the article:
Stephen Wing, president of Corporate Voices for Working Families says companies now realize that flexibility is the number one benefit most workers want, which makes getting past lip service tricky. “You really want to ask open-ended questions about their policy.”
Before signing up for your dream job that might become a nightmare, you need to dig deeper into the company culture. In most companies, there is a wide range of benefits, that when packaged together, can really make a difference in a worker’s life. Often that information is available on a company website.
“It’s not a guarantee of a family-friendly workplace, but it’s a start,” says Judith Casey, Director of the Sloan Work and Family Research Network at Boston College Graduate School of Social Work. Almost as important, she says, is learning if the benefits and policies can actually be used for the position you are considering without suffering a penalty. “Some organizations for example, may allow flexibility for their supervisors but not for their line workers,” Casey explains.
For employers and employees, Corporate Voices offers a number of toolkits and other resources on its website to implement flexible work schedules.
Also, at the first-ever White House Forum on Workplace Flexibility in March 2010, Corporate Voices was asked to lead a campaign to engage the business community and create a broader awareness of the positive business and employee benefits of workplace flexibility.
Corporate Voices, its Partner Coalition, and Outreach Partners are now reaching out to the business community to seek its support in signing the Statement of Support for Expanding Workplace Flexibility. By signing the Statment of Support, businesses will express their support for flexibility principles in their organizations and in the wider business community.