Culture | How to become a family-friendly employer

How to become a family-friendly employer
Promoted by How to become a family-friendly employer

Being family-friendly in the new world of work means more than flexibility alone. The post-pandemic mindset and talent shortages mean people bring their whole selves to work more than ever.

The focus is on inclusion, equity and belonging, wellbeing, community and climate. Family is up there with these big themes.

Leading employers need to support their workforce with parent and carer-friendly solutions that help employees of all generations thrive. Employers who do this are better at keeping and attracting talent and gain commercial advantages. Having ways of working that suit all your employees includes removing obstacles and reducing stress for busy people, while helping them to perform and progress. It means supporting your people to deliver their work, and feel well, even as their life circumstances change and develop. For parents and carers, a big part of this is managing care and family life. With our post-pandemic awareness, family-friendly means understanding that for your working parents and carers, their wellbeing is directly linked with the wellbeing of their loved ones.

There are three key questions that employees are asking themselves as they revaluate their work and their employer:

Why do I work here?

Workplace culture, leadership and purpose

How do I work?

Practical aspects, physical set-up and enablers

Who am I?

Emotional concerns, wellbeing and development

  • Why do I work here?

A lot of thinking and reflection has gone on during the pandemic and recent upheavals, leading to a reset and rethink about why we work and which companies we choose to work for. Expectations have changed and more direct conversations are happening in the workplace. Employees need space to challenge their employer to make improvements. They need autonomy and managers who can build that trust with their teams, motivating their employees to succeed and knowing when to step back.

It matters more than ever to be an employer to be proud of. Be relatable, re-state your mission and ensure that your company is living up to its values. Remote working can too easily morph into ‘always on’ working. Keep work-life boundaries in place and ensure this message is being communicated and role-modelled from the top down.

  • How do I work?

Many people now have at least two places of work. Making work flexible, hybrid and easy to access should come together with practical supports that remove the obstacles to working.

Encourage good habits when it comes to online meetings, switching off outside core hours and using technology to streamline or automate your processes.
Workplaces need to be collaborative spaces, attracting people to make the journey in and benefit from collective thinking and from serendipitous chats. Have separate spaces for different kinds of work, whether it’s a round table room for a brainstorming session or individual pods or booths for focused work or one-to-one conversations.

  • Who am I?

Alongside the cultural and practical needs, there is a strong mood of individual reappraisal regarding the place of work in life, and indeed - for many - the overall direction of their lives. Positive employee experience enhances productivity, wellbeing and loyalty, at a time when retaining talent is a first-line method of saving costs.

Make wellbeing a workplace priority for all. Put inclusive supports in place that cover topics from LGBT+ parenting to separation, divorce and co-parenting. Normalise talking about mental and physical health, including asking for help when something isn’t right. Empower your managers with the information and training needed to support their team members.

Finding new ways of building workplace culture is a long-term commitment. Our employer’s guide builds on the tips above and adds many more, outlining immediate actions you can take today, to drive real progress now and in the future. 

Download the Guide