In order to help serve our employees better companies should implement the following policies and benefits for dual career and single parent families.
- The company should provide on-site day care for children in our day care facility.
- Flexible hours will be given, where feasible, to parents of school age children in order to provide time to get their children off to school or be home when they arrive. If this is no feasible, the company will provide reimbursement for day care services that provide for children to stay before they go to school and when they come home.
- The company should offer employees the option to purchase additional time off, up to 5 days per year. Deductions will be taken out evenly each pay period and the days can only be purchased during open enrollment for the next calendar year. Employees may not purchase additional time off during the year.
For employees who are relocating:
- The company should provide culture training and preparation to families who need to relocate to another country or location.
- The company should help the trailing-spouse find employment if he/she is currently employed and must quit his/her job.
One of the most difficult aspects of a dual career family where both parents work, or for single-parents, is finding proper day care for their children. This is a major point of stress and anxiety and employers need to take this into consideration. Cost of day-care is very high and the anxiety of leaving your child with other people can be very unsettling. A company that provides these services on-site, or in some way helps with these services, such as contracting out, or offering reimbursement for day-care, would be doing a great service to their employees. There will be extra costs involved, but employees would most definitely be more loyal and productive to companies that offer services for day care. They will be more productive because of reduced stress, either in knowing their children our on site, or at least taking the pressure of costs off their mind. An employee would not want to lose that benefit and would be happy to work productively for a company that helps them in these situations.
Flexible time is a very good idea. Employees will not feel as if they are in prison, which they shouldn’t. Offering to pay for extra time off is not a bad idea. I worked for a company that did this at it worked very well. It is a fairly cheap benefit that an employee can pay for to get additional time off when needed. The flexible hours clause would allow managers and employees to asses their job and determine flexible hours. There is no reason for an employee to work 9-5:30 only, if the same job can be done from 7-3:30. This allows employees to choose a time slot that is more convenient for them. Assessments will need to be done to make sure it is feasible.
Employees that are offered relocation should be provided additional services from the company. This should be done whether the employee is relocating within the same country or to a foreign country. Moving from the east coast to the west coast can be quite a culture shock in itself and needs to be taken into consideration. Companies need to recognize the life changes involved in relocation and help their employees in the shift. An employee will not be as productive if they are having family problems due to relocation, so if the company can ease the transition it will bring them greet returns in the long run.
Companies today need to work together will their employees. Companies need to do more than offer positions and expect work and productivity to be done merely for a paycheck. There are many factors that effect employees and their productivity. Employers need to address these on a personal basis in order to tap into the full potential of their employees. In the long run it will re-build the loyalty that has been lost in the workplace in recent years. When employees see that a company is genuinely interested in their employees and their well-being, employees will work hard to keep that company going. The few that still don’t work hard will be easily replaced.