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4 Tips To Pursue A Family Friendly Business
1. Foster a culture of community
If your organization were a person, your company culture would be the personality of your organization. Good company culture will make your employees feel excited to be at work, and, as a result, the connection to their workplace will positively impact their work performance. U.S. Eagle creates a family friendly culture by making employees feel valued and heard and, offers opportunity for employee engagement. Here are some examples of how we support our employees:
- Birthday card and a small gift card from U.S. Eagle’s President and CEO, Marsha Majors
- If an employee is ill for a period of time, has experienced a death in their family, etc., U.S. Eagle sends support through flowers or offers the opportunity for them to use STA (Short Term Absence)
- Maternity/Paternity leave
- Lactation rooms
- A healthy PTO plan
- Paid continuing education opportunities
Your employees spend most of their day at work. Why not make them feel like part of a family while they’re on the clock?
2. Provide multiple channels of communication
Creating and sustaining a family friendly workplace means nurturing an environment where employees can bring their whole selves to work. The topic of employee engagement is multi-faceted; to lay the ground work for a culture where employees are open and honest, provide multiple channels of two-way communication. Some employees may prefer to use an open-door policy to converse with a manager in-person, while others might opt to send an electronic suggestion or post an anonymous note on a common-area whiteboard. Make sure to respond or acknowledge comments or suggestions, even if the answer is “no”. Examples of two-way communication opportunities are:
- Whiteboards- try posting a question for employees to respond to. Make it fun but take suggestions seriously when applicable.
- Online suggestions or email address- make sure a response is sent to acknowledge receipt.
- Annual or semi-annual all-employee meeting- hold it during the work day and make time for a genuine Q&A session.
- Small Executive or leadership meetings- open to all levels of employees. Providing lunch or snacks is a bonus.
- Employee Opinion Surveys- make sure to provide feedback even if it takes time to plan a course of action.
3. Discover ways for your employees to make a difference for your company and community
Your employees live-out your mission and they represent your organization in- and out- of the office. Empowering your employees to make a difference in the community shows investment in what they believe in while helping those in need. U.S. Eagle encourages community involvement in the following ways:
- Internal committee of employees who review and approve funds to non-profits, seek volunteer opportunities, and provide opportunity for employee engagement
- Employees can submit a request for support of a non-profit
- Offer opportunities for employees to volunteer during work hours
- Provide the tools for your volunteers to engage in the community
- Use of company vehicle
- Purchase requirements needed for employees to volunteer (Example: Ingredients for preparing a meal, shovels for yard work)
Empowering your employees is another way an organization listens to their employees. What causes are they passionate about? Where do they volunteer and invest their time? How can you use their passion for community to increase morale and fuel community involvement?
4. Chase continuous improvement in the policies and procedures that impact your workforce
Since the meaning of “Family” can be drastically different for all your employees, it is important to continually monitor your culture, rewards, and policies to stay abreast of the needs. This can be as simple as acting on suggestions posed in the two-way communication, or as robust as developing hiring mechanisms that aim to increase diversity. Hint: pay attention to hiring! A common hiring pitfall is for the hiring manager to hire like-minded candidates. One way to overcome this is to use a behavioral analysis assessment. By collecting this information, you will have greater insight into the behavioral drives of your workforce and can identify candidates who offer unique perspectives and balance your teams.
Most organizations would like to offer more flexible schedules and remote working arrangements, but many (including U.S.) find it difficult to offer or implement. Make the effort to explore ways to offer or at least listen to the scheduling needs of your employees. At the end of the day, taking care of your members, customers, or clients often dictates what is possible, but your employees likely have some good ideas how you can help them achieve a work-life balance.
Lastly, invest in the time to know your employees and the role they perform. Job descriptions, compensation and benefits packages should be monitored for accuracy and usability. Remember that every time you experience turnover, a new individual will likely enter your workforce with her own unique needs.