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Family Friendly Work Environment

Plano, TX is approximately 71.6 square miles with a general population of about 267,000.  This does not take into account the larger Dallas area metroplex.  Many people in the Plano area have to make the long work commute and it can be long and exhausting day-in through day-out.  

There are so many outside pressures placed on families that employers in the Dallas Metroplex should be mindful of some workplace family friendly strategies that will no doubt elevate employee quality of life and enhance better production, staff retention, and a great work atomsphere. 

 Establishing family friendly work practices in your business will result in lower employee turnover, reduced work stress, higher morale and productivity.
Your employees bring the pressures of their home life with them to their desks every day. Family friendly work policies aid employees to manage the stressors associated with family life, and in turn, mitigate those stressors impact on work life. Plus, many family friendly measures cost you, as the employer, little to nothing. The generation of workers now entering the job market – often referred to as the Millennial generation or Generation Y – consider flexible work schedules as one of the most important factors when evaluating talking a job and staying loyal to an employer. Right now, Millennials make up 14% of the workforce, but this number is going to grow rapidly. Consequently, their impact on work practices, such as family friendly work flexibility, will be wide spread.

 Following few simple guidelines will ensure your family friendly practices are always win-win
 
 1.  The employee’s work history is a factor in the flexibility you provide. Employees with strong work history, that is, good attitude, good attendance and high quality work product should be allowed greater flexibility. With any accommodation you provide, you as the employer must be able to monitor the outcome of the work. Set outcome based goals and performance measures and review them weekly. Finally, communicate clearly to employees that accommodations can be amended at any time based on changing business needs.

 2.  It is also important to establish a family friendly culture in your business.
This begins with you, the leader, reinforcing the family friendly philosophy in words and action. Get to know your employees and their families. Ask about their spouse, children and extended family. Most important, find out the dates of important family events, such as employees, children’s and spouses birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, etc. Mark those on your personal calendar and set a reminder several days in advance. Note the important event with a greetings card or a gift. Small gestures like that go a long way to recognizing the importance of family and building loyalty of your staff. Also, have family focused events for your employees. Invite your staff, their spouses, and, if appropriate, children to client appreciation dinners and activities. Have an annual picnic, barbecue or dinner party for your staff and their family. Each spring, encourage your staff to bring their children to the office on national Kids to Work Day.

A combination of flexibility, caring, fair demands and clear communication will help your employee’s achieve balance between work obligations and family life. In turn, your employees will be healthier, happier and engaged to help you reach your business goals.

You may contact the author if you wish to offer further comments or ideas on how to make the workplace family friendly. 
 

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