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Elements of a Family Friendly Work Place

Becoming an employer of choice is the goal of many organizations.  One way to get the competitive edge is to be considered a family friendly organization.  Below you will find some  programs that you may want to consider in addition to providing alternative work arrangements to help establish your organization as family friendly.  For more detail, where available, click on the item that you are interested in.  Keep checking back as we plan to add more here.

Day Care: Finding quality day care is often a very difficult and time-consuming task for parents. Providing either on-site care for children or at least close proximity will help. If money or space constraints stand in the way of providing a company day care, the organization can still do some of the leg work of investigating the quality of care available in local child care facilities. This will take some of the burden off employees. Providing the results of a standardized questionnaire is probably the best bet. Maybe you can at least work out a discount. Also utilize a Flexible Spending Account. This saves both the employee and the organization tax dollars.

Elder Care: Caring for elderly relatives is becoming more of a concern for many employees today. Provide resources to make the search for quality care more efficient. Dependant Care Flexible Spending Account dollars can also be used for Elder Care under some circumstances.

Lactation Room: Some states are considering legislation that would require employers to make a reasonable effort to provide non-paid breaks and appropriate locations for women to pump breast milk while at work. And Minnesota has already passed legislation. Providing this service is really a win-win situation. Minimally, an organization can provide a room with a lock, an electrical outlet and a comfortable chair. The return on this investment is a happier, more loyal employee who has, according to studies, a healthier baby. This means less missed work to take care of a sick child. Consider the amount of time some employees take to smoke !

Sponsor Family Activities: Have a picnic that provides activities for all ages, organize an outing to a sporting event or a trip to the zoo, have a talent contest, encourage employees to involve spouses and children in organizational community volunteer activities. Be creative. The organization doesn't have to pick up the whole tab either. At a minimum, by organizing a large group, you should be able to secure a lower rate. Help your employees by providing fun, affordable family activities.

Scholarships: Provide scholarships for the college-age children of employees.

On-site Dry Cleaning Service: No, we donít mean that you need to set up shop. Check with local dry cleaning services. If you have enough employees at your site it would be worth while for the dry cleaner to pick up and deliver right at your door to get the extra business.

Concierge Program:  This is becoming a popular benefit with many employees.  It doesn't necessarily fall under "family friendly" but it certainly can.  This is a very flexible option.  Employers can offer employees discounted dinners, hotel rooms, vacations or movies.  If you are a large organization you may have the negotiating power to secure great deals on your own.  Many organizations, however, are contracting with companies that rely on the collective numbers of many employers to secure great rates on services.  

Provide Holiday Shopping on-site: Ask local merchants to bring merchandise to your organization. Or, allow employees to shop on-line and have packages delivered at work.

Health and Dental Benefits: Provide family insurance coverage.

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