On getting family friendly …

On getting family friendly …

2013 will see consultation take place on the governments parental leave reforms, which will see both parents able to share up to a year’s leave to look after their new-born children.  This along with plans to legislate during the same year, on an extension to the right to request flexible working to all employees, shows a growing emphasis on family friendliness being a key feature of an employer of choice; an organisation where performance is valued first, over the hours that employees work.

Demographic and social changes have brought an increase in the number of employees with responsibilities for caring and it follows therefore that employers who can meet these needs will benefit from enhanced retention, innovation and competitive edge.

Each workplace and workforce is different though, and to get flexibility right, means asking employees what they need from their organisation.  Carrying out a survey is a good starting point, but ideas and input can come from other opportunities such as team meetings and informal discussion, as well as by formal approaches like focus groups and setting up a project team.

Whilst respecting privacy and confidentiality, find out from employees:

  • What their responsibilities for caring are
  • How this affects them, their work, colleagues and customers
  • How helpful they find current family friendly policy and practice within the organisation
  • How things could be improved

Make sure everyone is included in the survey or other activity as different employees have different needs and assumptions should never be made.

How family friendly is your organisation?  Does it meet the needs of the workforce?

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