Problems at home trump problems at work every time. Family friendly workplaces are supporting the parents in their workplace and discovering that this support has great benefits not only for the employees at home but also at work.
My program, Great@Home — Great@Work will help you to have parents who arrive at work ready to focus and do their job.
Great@Home – Great@Work
Workplace wellness was born when the business community started to realize that a healthy employee was more productive, suffered less stress and had fewer sick days. So the programs focused on physical health with smoking cessation programs, blood pressure checks and fitness centres. And the employees became healthier but they still suffered from stress and anxiety.
The cause was trying to handle two careers; that of raising children and that of doing their paid job. There was support for parents in the workplace. They could choose to speak to a therapist through their employee assistance program and they could avail themselves of alternate work arrangements such as part-time, job sharing, flex-time and telecommuting. And all these were helpful but not enough.
Workplace wellness programs have evolved. Two major factors are at play. The first is that in order to be truly healthy, all parents in the workforce need to be supported by programs at work and offered therapy when things get truly serious.
They need to build skills and strategies. The better prepared they are, the more likely they will not need therapy. As the concept of wellness matured, programs began to address the issues of stress and anxiety. Balancing work and family was the watchword, and much of that information was helpful.
But it still wasn’t enough. There was a gap. Balancing work and family programs help employees set priorities, plan realistically and choose the programs that work for them. The response was the development of workshops on topics such as time management, nutrition and parenting.
Parenting workshops and support seem to be difficult to implement. Although we know that child raising is the most important job in the world, we are still unclear on the concept that like any other career, parenting is one for which we need training.
More importantly, when parents know about child development, when they have a handle on child discipline, when they are comfortable communicating with their kids, they are better employees. They arrive in the morning calm and ready to work, their work time is productive, and they are comfortable and happy in their role as parent and thus can focus on their paid employment.
I was having a conversation with the workplace wellness director in a major law firm after having presented a workshop for their staff and for the lawyers. She said; “Great speakers, like you, come into our workplace and do a presentation for our employees. There is a buzz for a few days and then it’s over. We need follow-up.”
I agree, follow-up is important. So, at Parenting Today we have developed a number of programs available as a follow-up support for parents in the workplace.
Why would you care?
Today’s young professionals have decided that they will work hard but they will also have a life. They are insisting that their benefits programs include recognition that they have a full life outside of the workplace. And the workplace that honours that will find that they can recruit the best people, that they will see an increase in employee retention and loyalty and that their employees will have fewer sick days, be focused on their job while at work and will suffer less stress and anxiety.
Raising kids is one of the greatest challenges for those trying to achieve a balance between home and work. The workplaces that recognize that will be the winners, as will their employees and the next generation of workers, their children.
What happens at your workplace? What do you wish would happen?