family-friendly employers reap benefits of loyal staff

Eighty-seven per cent of employees said that their employer’s family-friendly support has a positive impact on their likelihood to stay according to research by  family-friendly solutions provider.

My Family Care’s Work+Family Snapshot drew responses from 1,680 employees, from over 100 of their client organisations. 95 per cent of respondents have caring responsibilities for children, elderly or dependent relatives, or a combination of these.

The snapshot also shines a light gender and generational differences. Family friendly support is important to both genders, but even more so to women (more often choosing ‘greatly increases’ vs ‘increases’ likelihood to stay), perhaps not surprising in the context of the compromises women still make when it comes to combining work and family. Interestingly family-friendly support also has a similarly bigger impact on loyalty for Gen X than Gen Y, perhaps a reflection of Gen X’s ‘gratitude’ for support and Gen Y’s expectation of it. But whatever generation or gender, done properly, being visibly family-friendly is a powerful tool for employers.

As one respondent put it,

I can’t work for an employer that doesn’t get this. It’s impossible. If they are understanding, why or how would I leave!

Ben Black, CEO of My Family Care said,

Talent retention and attraction are top of mind for most employers, and the Snapshot clearly underlines the business benefit of supporting working parents and carers, who will likely makeup over a third of an organisation’s workforce. The art for employers is about enabling working parents and carers to apply their talents productively at work while fulfilling their values at home. We know from experience that this requires a combination of practical benefits and services, organisational culture (including manager guidance) and programmes for individual development and wellbeing.

Life isn’t getting any easier for most working parents and carers, Only 29 per cent said ‘easier’, while 44 per cent said ‘harder’ and 27 per cent said ‘about the same’. Although there are gender and generational differences, broadly speaking this is attributable to increased care responsibilities and increased pressure from work.

But what do they value most? No surprises here. Flexible or agile working, was one of the most important building blocks, rated most highly by nearly 75 per cent of respondents. That this large population selected Backup care in second place to flexible working as the most valued service was a notable finding. This makes good sense in the context of 64 per cent of working parents experiencing care breakdowns (of on average 4.3 days in the last 12 months) and only 24 per cent feeling able to depend on family or friends to help with care responsibilities at short notice.

Black added,

With growing cultural and legislative pressures on issues such as gender diversity, wellbeing and mental health, and later retirement, employers ignoring the parenting and caring aspects of these just aren’t seeing the full picture. Employers are also waking up to the message that working parents or carers who drop out of their workforce are as likely to emerge in a more leading-edge competitor firm rather than simply staying home with the kids.

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