Working Families Annual Conference Jun-14

PfP’s thoughts arising from this week’s Working Families Annual Conference:

Driving Business through Values and Behaviours

My takeaways from the day:

  1. The Happy Homes Productive Workplaces research results offers us a great reminder that there is a clear link between high relationship quality at home with high engagement at work.  Indeed, many parents we work with stress how they couldn’t have managed their professional roles if it wasn’t for the support of their partner at home.- It was interesting to learn that 70% of parents, however, did report a decline in their relationship quality with their partner when they had children, underlining that being a working parent brings additional stresses!

    – It was found that workplace engagement scores were the same if you were or were not a parent – dispelling the myth that working parents are not as committed or focused!

    – The importance of employers and managers encouraging ‘mindfulness’ at work.  A simple yet powerful example is openly recognising challenging life events and communicating the message ‘we know you are experiencing a challenging time, we are here to support you.’

    – The reminder that 80% of us will become parents – this is a huge segment of the workforce, underlining the importance of supporting this group of people.

  2. Reminder of the effect of behaviours on business success- Everyone interprets values differently

    – Outputs AND behaviours need to be measured in conjunction, not separetely

    – Flexible working is motivational because it gives you choice and control

    – Unsupported carers are 5 times more likely to experience stress and/or anxiety (Carers UK)

    – 1 in 5 unsupported carers are likely to leave their job because they are unlikely to find the right balance

What has inspired me!

– Credit Suisse’s Real Returns 10-week programme for those who have been out of the workplace for 3 or more years – 200 applicants for 16 places!

– The law firm DWF’s drive for flexible working – hugely and bravely challenging the traditionally slow pace of change around adopting flexible working in the legal sector… With examples which prove the positive impact that this has had on their employee performance and client satisfaction.  Fantastic and inspirational work!

– Don’t just communicate examples of the ‘female working parent’ as a case study for flexibility.  Talk about those who take sabbaticals to travel or those who take leave to look after an elderly relative, or those new dads who take Additional Paternity Leave

– Working with new and expectant dads in the workplace is great, but it’s too late!  As a society, we need to engage with boys at school around the idea of career plus role of parent

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