How well does your workplace support pregnant women, mothers, fathers, birthparents, and other caregivers? How family-friendly do you think your workplace is, especially considering its size or type of work? Are there glaring unmet needs — or is your workplace a model that could help other businesses better support their employees?
Take FFL’s Workplace Inventory (linked below) to help you assess the supportiveness of your workplace. Check off “have it,” “need it,” or “want it” beside each item. Depending on your answers, you might prepare to respectfully approach your boss or human resources director with concerns and proposed solutions. If you are a business owner, CEO, or human resources director, you could approach your employees and ask for their help in establishing a task force to address unmet needs.
As you evaluate your workplace and seek to address unmet needs in any area, think about the best way for your company to create meaningful and cost-effective solutions. Take into consideration the size of the employer and what kind of work employees do. For instance, for some types of employment, on-site daycare or childcare subsidies are essential. For others, telecommuting, shorter shifts, or flex-time would be the preferred and cost-effective option.
Moving forward, the task force can work with the owner, CEO, or human resources director to address “need it” items first, setting a timeline or incremental goals for implementing those changes. As goals are met, the workplace can pursue other priorities by moving on to those benefits in the “want it” sections.
Update your evaluation annually. Solutions may change with circumstances, such as emerging technologies. And as your company grows, it may be possible to offer more benefits.
Celebrate every new success, whether it’s a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a childcare center or a new telecommuting option, in your company newsletter or on your website. And remember to share in the celebration of every new family member.