How a family-friendly work culture drives your D&I agenda
How can a family-friendly work culture help your diversity and inclusion agenda?
In the current ‘war for talent’ climate we find ourselves in, elevation of your employer brand reputation as an Employer of Choice has never been more crucial.
Increasingly, people want to work for inclusive and flexible organisations that care about their career, family and wellbeing needs. Post-pandemic, employees have high expectations around work-life balance, being family-friendly and place an emphasis on flexibility.
What is a family-friendly work culture?
A family-friendly work culture is about respecting the basic human need to connect with and spend time with our families, whether that be in a caring capacity as a parent looking after children; or adults taking care of their sick or elderly relatives. During the pandemic, many of us were stripped of this need to care and connect; post-pandemic we are still coming to terms with just how crucial this time with family is to our overall health and wellbeing. Employees need to feel that this time is respected and protected, so a healthy work/family balance can be sustained for the longer-term.
A work-place family-friendly culture actively promotes and encourages opportunities for employees to gain the balance they need. Examples of this include managers role-modelling flexibility – for example leaving early to pick up children or taking an hour out of the working day to visit an elderly relative. Another example is a team where employees talk openly about their caring and parenting responsibilities; they don’t feel the need to cover up appointments in the fear of being judged. A family-friendly manager considers development and career opportunities for all team members regardless of their family situation.
This Harvard Business Review discusses the 4 key strengths of family-friendly cultures –which further reinforces the need for listening, trusting and respecting the needs of employees.
How your family-friendly work culture can support your D&I priorities
We know we have achieved a diverse culture when we see, hear and feel managers and team members respecting and appreciating what makes us all different. When employees are encouraged to play an active caring or parenting role outside of their professional lives, we open up a much larger talent pool as we welcome returners from leave or those looking for part-time work for example.
When employees feel welcome, valued and appreciated regardless of their background, their gender, their ethnicity or their sexual orientation, they are able to give their best to their jobs. We have achieved an inclusive culture when we regularly see examples of support during times of transition and challenge. A single mum is encouraged to work from home to enable flexibility around childcare pick-ups and a man going through the demands of the adoption process is told by his manager that she understands he is going through a difficult time and that she is there to support him where she can.
How Can P&P Help?
At P&P Coaching, so many of our clients are well on their way to reaping the rewards of investing time and money into creating a family-friendly work culture. Consequently, they are seeing results in the following areas:
- Talent attraction: larger talent pool due to reputation as employer of choice for flexibility, development opportunities. These organisations are known in the industry for their caring and supportive culture.
- Talent retention: more inclusive leadership skills have led to an increased number of women in the talent pipeline and in senior positions. Simply put, employees stay longer.
- Enhanced performance: we know that those organisations with the most diverse workforce outperform their competitors. McKinsey research found that those companies with the best gender diversity for example, outperformed peers by 21%. Performance improvement is seen at all levels across organisations.
Family-friendliness is clearly much wider than enhanced family policies, it’s in the culture. We have seen how benefits are far-reaching – improvement in business productivity through attracting and retaining the best and most diverse people, as well as increasing engagement; reduction in cost of both absenteeism and presenteeism through enhanced health, wellbeing and confidence of your employees.
This week’s blog is written by co-founder of Parent & Professional, Helen Letchfield.