Last month, Chicago White Sox first baseman Adam LaRoche made national headlines when he told the White Sox that he was leaving his $13 million baseball career so he could spend more quality time with his son.
Moments after he announced his decision to leave on Twitter accompanied by the hashtag #FamilyFirst, an important and timely discussion ensued: are enough employers enabling their employees to put their families first?
Of course, not everyone can walk away from their jobs as easily as Adam LaRoche can – it’s much easier to say goodbye to a paycheck when you’ve been making $13 million a year than it is for the average employee. So the question remains: what can top global employers do to attract and retain top talent by fostering a #FamilyFirst culture?
Here are a few things to consider if your company is trying to build a culture where employees feel they don’t have to choose between work and their children, but rather feel their family values are encouraged and appreciated:
- Make telecommuting realistic for employees at all levels, where possible. These days, with team collaboration tools widely available, telecommuting can be a great option for many employees. By saving your team hours in commuting time, they can spend less energy fighting traffic and more energy playing with their kids. Imagine how employee engagement would increase if each of your employees gained an hour a day with their children.
- Consider a “results only” approach to management. Is your company still focused on hours worked, rather than the quality of the work itself? Consider implementing employee evaluation tools that help you focus more on the work product quality and timeliness, rather than assessing employees based solely on their hours.
- Have specific company events where children are welcome. Start a Take Your Child To Work program. Have an annual family picnic day. Host an event at a local museum. Hosting a few family friendly events throughout the year could go a long way toward increasing employee engagement and demonstrating to your employees how much your company values family.
- Have a ‘career day’ for older children, and encourage them to shadow a worker for a day to learn about his or her job. Added bonus: Check two boxes at once by offering a family-friendly program that your employees and their kids will love while fostering a culture of learning and development at the same time.
- Consider an “internship” program for high school-aged children. Why not offer some of your employees kids’ the chance to experience what life is like in their parents’ office?
- Encourage flexible work hours. Consider allowing employees to work four days a week for 10 hours each day, rather than five days a week for eight hours each day. Long weekends – especially during the summer – are a great perk for time-strapped employees who would love a weekend away with their families.
How can offering employer student loan payments as a benefit help your company attract and retain top talent? Download our Guide to Student Loan Contributions as an Employee Benefit to learn more!