Learn how to get the best from the working parents on your team.
Michael is one of your most talented team members. He's dedicated and innovative, and he never misses a deadline. However, due to family obligations, he wants to leave work every day at 3 p.m. to collect his children from school.
Michael has asked to come in earlier, or to work at home in the evenings, to make up for this lost time, but you have to deny his request. Although your organization does have a flextime policy in place, you need Michael to work office hours so that he can take inbound calls and attend meetings with clients in person. A few months later, Michael leaves your organization for a company that offers him flexible working hours.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 58 percent of families have two working parents. In the U.K., the Office of National Statistics puts this number at 53 percent. With these figures, and with single-parent households included as well, several people in your team may be working parents.
Parents in the workforce face challenges and time constraints that other professionals might not experience. Organizations need to support working parents, or they might find that they lose them to companies with more family-friendly policies. Also, you'll get better work from working parents who are positive and highly-motivated, and who believe that the organization is "on their side."
In this article, we'll look at how you can get the best from the working parents on your team. We'll also look at how organizations can get a fair deal, too.
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United States Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics (2012) ‘Employment Characteristics of Families Summary.’ [Online] Available here. [Accessed October 31, 2012.]
Hansegard, J. (2012) ‘For Paternity Leave, Sweden Asks if Two Months is Enough,’ The Wall Street Journal, July 31, 2012. [Online] Available here. [Accessed October 31, 2012.]
North Dakota State University (2006) ‘Balancing Work and Family: Working With Your Employer.’ [Online] Available here. [Accessed October 31, 2012.]
Work Smart From the TUC (2012) ‘I’d Like to Take Paternity Leave, What Notice do I Need to Give My Employer?’ [Online] Available here. [Accessed November 6, 2012.]
Gov.uk (2012) ‘Guide: Flexible Working.’ [Online] Availabe here. [Accessed November 6, 2012.]