We all belong to families and every family is unique.
“As Gen X and Y continue to merge as the ‘new breed’ of two income parents juggling busy careers and family life; their needs, expectations and realities are very different from the generation before them; is your workplace ready?”
Emma Walsh, CEO Parents At Work
Throughout 2017, Parents At Work, with the support of KPMG, Norton Rose Fullbright, Deloitte and Gilbert + Tobin, toured Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide and spoke to hundreds of HR, Diversity and Inclusion professionals, in both private and public sector about the value of Creating Family Friendly Workplaces.
The aim was to highlight and discuss the state of the nation when it comes to Australia’s progress on parental leave, flexible work and more specifically dad’s participation in sharing the caring.
We shared the first-hand insights from the 2017 Working Families Report and outlined the changing caring needs of the next generation of parents and carers.
Most importantly, we discussed what organisations can do to be more family friendly in 2018. A brief overview of these must do’s include:
1. Invest in Culture NOT Policies
As HR and Diversity practitioners, we all have an opportunity to shape the future of work which is beyond ‘policy’, it’s about cultivating an attitude and mindset in workplaces.
- Recognise that ALL employees belong to families and every family is unique – decide if you want to be a family-centric organisation or not and live it
- Have a growth mindset about how employees approach work life integration
- Reward the quality of output not the quantity of hours
- Promote an inclusive approach to how work gets done
How we support employees to integrate work and family life drives the development of sustainable career plans that helps them stay engaged.
2. Educate and Support Employees AND Leaders
- Help employees to transition to and from parental or carers leave by offering training and coaching support
- Focus on programs that help employees to sustain their career, family and wellbeing needs.
- Train Leaders in how to manage employees’ life transition needs and to integrate work and family life effectively.
3. Share the Caring Load
Help your employees to raise the next generation by sharing the caring load. In Australia, it’s estimated we deliver 1.9 billion hours of unpaid care to our communities and the majority of caring is delivered by women.
- Normalise men taking leave to care. Encourage more dads to take primary parental leave. In Australia, approximately only 2% of dads access parental leave.
- Share success stories of men and women
- Offer caring support services that make child care, aged or elder care more accessible
So, the questions to consider in 2018 . . .
- How family friendly is your workplace?
- How well are your employees integrating their work and family life?
- How can men and women be equally supported to share the caring load?
- What can your workplace do to improve access to caring support for all employees?
Download the Working Family Report for more information or read WGEA’s recent release on The ‘How To’ Guide on Parental Leave for organisations.
You could also watch the below video to catch some of the highlights from our Creating Family Friendly Workplaces tour – captured at our Swedish Dads panel event this year.
Contact us today to arrange a FREE consultation on how to implement a family friendly working parent program in your organisation today.
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