All employees examine a company’s workplace culture before deciding whether to join or leave. This isn’t going to change anytime soon. As we begin to re-enter the workplace after the COVID-19 pandemic, many working parents will be looking to see how companies are ensuring workplace culture is family-friendly.
After over a year of challenges, obstacles, and unanticipated change, many companies are starting to gradually phase employees back to the office. But if there’s one thing that the pandemic taught us it is this: workplace culture can be easily disrupted. With that in mind, companies need to return to the office with the aim of refreshing company culture to be better suited for all employees – in all scenarios.
The Future of Workplaces: Will Company Culture Change As Offices Reopen?
The companies that thrived during the pandemic were those that had a strong sense of company culture prior to it, especially when it came to family-centric policies. These businesses continued to see growth in productivity and employee engagement, even if their employees couldn’t interact with each other in person. Why is that?
Although many of the systems and rituals that surround company culture are established in the office, becoming remote shouldn’t cause the culture to diminish. Some executives noted that the remote-work model helped their business to become more resilient. This was possible because these companies adapted to the situation. They put measures in place to ensure that all their employees could continue to work effectively while working from home e.g, flexible workdays, no end-of-day meetings, back-up-care reimbursement, etc. These companies focused on the future of work as opposed to traditional working habits.
As we move forward with a hybrid-work model, employers will need to be clear on what initiatives they include as part of company culture to make sure it is fully inclusive of all employees. There is an opportunity here for companies to reset their workplace culture to encapsulate various factors including work environment preferences, flexible work schedules, and family-life responsibilities. Creating this type of hybrid workplace can create a positive effect on employees by creating a good work-life balance.
The message is clear: A company culture that existed pre-pandemic has no place in a post-pandemic office space.
Retain Talent By Creating a Family-Friendly Workplace Culture
While all of that may be easier said than done, the main priority that employers should be focusing on is ensuring their workplace culture is truly family-friendly.
There is no denying that working families carried the burden of the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve spoken at length before about the impact it had on the careers of working mothers and its repercussions on families’ childcare responsibilities. But, the biggest lesson it taught many companies is how significantly family-friendly benefits can impact employee well-being.
Now with working parents returning to the office, employers and HR professionals will need to do their part to make sure this section of the labor force has all the support that they need. For working parents, the challenges of 2020 are far from over. So, how exactly can companies retain working parents going forward?
There are several critical steps employers must take to create a workplace culture that is supportive of working parents. Let’s look at these steps below.
- Listen to your employees: Only your employees know what works best for them. Employee surveys are a great way to understand the needs of working parents in your company. These surveys act as an opportunity for your employees to have their voices heard and provide a space for open and honest conversations.
- Seek advice from experts: Changes may be needed to your company’s policies and procedures going forward. Make sure to enlist help from experts, both inside and outside of your organization, to create new family-friendly policies and programs.
- Get company leaders on board: As with any important organizational change, make sure that leadership at all levels is brought up to speed. Leaders are responsible for modeling company culture. Without your leaders on board, working parents will never receive the benefits of family-friendly workplace culture.
- Launch and evaluate: After a new family-friendly program or initiative has been launched make sure to evaluate its trial performance. Identify any areas that may need to be adjusted and see where else your company culture can evolve.
Those companies that recognize their employees wear multiple hats experience a considerably higher retention rate among working parents. After all, your employees are not just employees – they are also mothers, fathers, caregivers, pet owners, and more.
The Impact of Offering Employer-Sponsored Child Care Initiatives
A family-centric workplace culture that is supported by employer-sponsored child care initiatives provides an opportunity for working parents to excel in their careers while also building secure bonds with their children.
Parental leave policies and adoption benefits have been core features of company employee benefits in recent decades but they are not always adequate to represent the diversity of modern-day families. When companies introduce family-friendly initiatives such as employer-sponsored child care services, maternity return programs, robust caregiver leave, or peer mentoring groups it can have a significant impact on the wellbeing of working parents.
These corporate child care initiatives have been proven to result in better-educated children, improved gender diversity, sustainable growth, boosted employee engagement, and much more. When working parents are given access to affordable and adequate child care services it removes a layer of stress, worry, and distraction. Therefore, allowing them to be fully engaged in their work responsibilities resulting in higher productivity levels.
A lot of investment is still needed in family-friendly programs from both a business and government perspective. However, even the smallest of investments in these programs can ignite a shift towards a workplace culture that is more suitable for – and accepting of – today’s working parents.
Vivvi: Helping Employers Support Working Parents
Vivvi partners with employers of all sizes to make high-quality full-time and backup care more accessible and affordable. With flexible offerings and global coverage across on-campus, in-home, in-office, and virtual care, Vivvi meets the needs of your business and your employees where you are.
Visit our employer page to learn more about the benefits and ROI our child care offerings have provided to businesses like yours.