How to Create a Work-Life Balance for the Staff at Your Firmby
A study of the top 50 family-friendly companies in North Carolina, compiled by Jessica Gaylord of Carolina Parent Magazine, lists a variety of work-life balance features and benefits. Recognizing that you likely can't implement all of them, Which of these might be worth exploring for your firm—and why?
All of the top 50 companies offer health insurance, 98% have some type of flex-time or part-time work options available, 96% offer paid maternity leave, and an amazing 92% offer paid paternity leave.
Some 94% of these family-friendly companies offer some type of wellness or healthy lifestyle program, and many offer a variety of other benefits such as:
- Work-at-home options: 96%
- Employee assistance: 92%
- Compressed work week: 88%
- Time off for adoption: 86%
- Dedicated lactation facilities: 84%
- Pre-tax dependent care accounts: 86%
- Paid time off for volunteer work: 76%
- Child-care resources: 72%
- Phase-back time for new moms: 70%
These aren't the only ones. Below are additional benefits and features that some family-friendly companies also offer for their employees. Consider the following:
- Job-sharing opportunities: 58%
- Parenting and family support groups: 58%
- Work-life balance training for managers and supervisors: 54%
- Family work-life issues committee: 50%
- Adoption expense reimbursement: 50%
- Back-up childcare: 40%
- On-site or nearby childcare: 34%
With forward, family-friendly companies like these, career professionals who are employed by them have good opportunities on a recurring basis to experience work-life balance.
Added to the personal measure that one can adopt such as meditation, yoga, visualization, and other stress-reducing techniques, it is entirely possible that such fortunate employees could be the leading representatives of a new era of work-life balance in our otherwise hectic society.
These family-friendly companies find it advantageous to offer such benefits and features because it leads to long-term sustenance of their work-force. A rested, balanced, happy work-force is a more productive work-force. The dollars and cents add up: when employees' ability to experience work-life balance increases, everybody wins.
Putting Work-Life Benefits to Work: A Case Study
Consider the following challenge: years back Corning, Inc.—universally known for its kitchen and container products—found itself as the only large employer based in small-town Corning, New York. As a result, it struggled to not only attract employees from outside the Corning area, but also to retain good staff members. Job candidates who turned down positions with the company cited its location as the primary reason.
To overcome this—as Corning continued to develop into a high-tech company that produced advanced materials for businesses, telecommunications, and the environment—it sought new ways to attract talented job candidates. It enhanced employee benefits to include health club memberships and subsidized childcare, including three offsite childcare centers for their employees’ convenience.
Here are some ideas that might work for your firm: Corning has stepped up its college campus recruiting, Internet use, and presence at job fairs to attract new talent. The combination of its supportive corporate culture, technological opportunities, and employee benefits proved effective in retaining technical professionals who otherwise would have said “nay.”
About the author:
Jeff Davidson, a.k.a. "The Work-life Balance Expert"® works with busy accountants to increase their work-life balance, so that they can be more productive and competitive, and still have a happy home life. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, and Dial it Down, Live it Up. Visit www.breathingspace.com.
Jeff Davidson, a.k.a. “The Work-life Balance Expert”®, speaks to accounting firms and associations on increasing their work-life balance so they can be more productive and competitive, and still have a life away from work. He is the author of Everyday Project Management, Breathing Space, and Simpler Living. Visit breathingspace.com.