How to create a better Workplace for Working Parents
Now more than ever, there needs to be an emphasis on flexibility for working parents. Not only are they a larger share of today’s workforce, they also demand more from employers. Decades ago, for at least one spouse, working long hours away from families was typical. This was even more true in the traditional two parent families, where often one parent stayed at home so the other could prioritize work over family time. Today that trend has shifted dramatically. Our survey database from 30 years ago shows that in the late 1980’s and early 90’s, more than one third of married workers reported having a stay at home spouse. Today that number is roughly one sixth. With fewer parents able to stay home to take care of children, it falls on these working parents to make it all come together. Increasingly in our survey data, we are seeing employees demand more time with their families, even if that means less overtime pay and a lower total annual income.
At Coleman Consulting Group, we have found that nontraditional schedules can provide the right solution for many working parents. For example, trading extra hours of work one day a month for more total days off can open up time to meet with their kids’ teachers or go on their school field trips. Flexible reporting options such as shift swapping strategies mean that parents can get the time off without giving up needed pay. Yes, finding the right solution for any group can be difficult as different parents want different solutions. However, if companies are committed to listening to their workforce, then a best solution in scheduling can be developed and implemented to meet business needs as well as health & safety standards.
Why do it? First, your people deserve a better life. We hear a lot of talk about work-life balance, but our research shows that today’s workers are tired, burned out and do not feel appreciated. A good schedule, the best schedule chosen by your valued employees, can improve retention, dramatically reduce turnover costs and increase productivity. If you can implement the right schedule, you can unlock the power of your workforce. The bottom line is that companies we work with typically see a 15-20% decrease in their total labor budget after implementation!
Oh, and did I mention your employees will be happier? Disrupting the status quo to create the right schedules for your employees is the right thing to do.