Happy employees are effective employees. According to an article by Freek Vermeulen, recent studies have shown that “companies with a lot of family-friendly practices generally were more profitable than those without them.” This is because many employees with a better work-life balance are happier and as a result have more personal effectiveness than people who feel like they are trapped in jobs that offer no flexibility. Vwemeulen asserts that “firms that had implemented a bunch of family-friendly practices fared well as a result of the increased employee retention, citizenship behavior, and improved work attitudes.”
Now, Vermeulen makes it clear that family-friendly practices can be expensive, but increased profits, increased retention, etc make those costs worthwhile to businesses. Some human resources professionals even recommend going beyond simply offering family-friendly benefits to more actively include employee families in the company culture since an employee may receive “more support” in their job roles if the entire family is on board.
There are a wide variety of employee benefits that could be considered family-friendly. Some can be expensive (such as providing health insurance), while others are essentially free (such as giving advance notice about important meetings coming up).
Some Benefits that Improve Personal Effectiveness
1. Health insurance
2. Flexible hours
3. Job-share opportunities
4. Paid vacation time
5. Telecommuting options
6. Discounted gym membership
7. Tuition reimbursement
8. Flexibility to respond to family emergencies or attend family events
9. Paid volunteer time
10. Respect for employee’s time outside of work
There are innumerable other benefits that help make each individual employee’s family-work balance more manageable. The bottom line is that employees who don’t feel huge conflicts between the demands of work and the demands of home are happier and more productive. Their personal effectiveness and personal accountability are much higher than an employee who feels unhappy in their work because of their inability to find balance. Even employees who don’t have families of their own will benefit from a corporate culture of flexibility, since they might have ailing parents to care for, or they might simply feel loyalty to a company with excellent policies in case they ever do have a family
What benefits should you offer? It might be too expensive to offer every benefit you would like to offer. Ask your employees to take an online personality test to help discover their ideal work environments. Then begin a discussion with your employees to discover what benefits will best improve their happiness and personal effectiveness.
In addition to using an online personality test and surveying employee needs and desires, managers can also model their own effectiveness as a result of a healthy work-life balance, and giving such an example could have the strongest influence of all. If it is okay for their manager to have a life outside of work, then it is probably okay for them, too.
What family-friendly practices do you have in your workplace?