Have you ever wondered, "Why doesn't my employer get it?"
The good news is that some employers do get the concept that a business can turn a profit while still making life more manageable for working parents.
Working Mother just came out with its list of the 100 Best Companies and they are offering some very cool benefits. Some of those benefits, guaranteed to help with work life balance, are easy to replicate, even by small employers.
Check this out: AOL’s New York City office recently gave employee parents a break by babysitting their kids for an entire Saturday. That's an easy perk for a small business to offer.
Here's another cool program: At First Horizon National Corp. they have a Working Parents Network: “It gives those of us who are caring for others the chance to exchange ideas, share photos and cry on each other’s shoulders,” a member says.
The “top” companies on the Working Mother best list offered paid maternity leave, telecommuting options and on-site lactation rooms. This year, the winners have shown their commitment in new ways like elder care referral and legal assistance to help busy parents manage their responsibilities. Those two perks aren't expensive to offer and mean a lot to those who need them.
Some of the best companies even offered back-up child care, adoption assistance, health screenings and smoking cessation programs. Twenty-three percent had on-site nap rooms. Does that make you jealous, or maybe a bit sleepy?
Many on the list, such as Valassis Communications, offered flexible work hours. I see that as a family-friendly benefit an employer of any size could provide to its workers.
Valassis also offers child care reimbursement, a complimentary car seat for newborns, college care packages and convenience services like on-site fitness centers, family rooms and dry cleaning services. It also offers an adoption assistance program, up to $5,000 toward the adoption of a child.
The interest in fitness to help with work life balance is increasing. At Abbott, at least 75% of employees are enrolled in the LiveLifeWell initiative, which features 12-week exercise challenges and 10,000-steps-per-day walking competitions. I bet even a small business could engage its employees in an exercise challenge.
What one “family” benefit would you most like to have at your office?