For many working parents, finding good and reliable childcare is one of the biggest worries they have. Almost one quarter of all working parents need to reply on more than one arrangement for childcare. Government statistics show that this is a trend that is just growing. Between having to leave work early or not come to work at all because of issues pertaining to the care of their children, when parents are not helped with this, they miss more work than parents who get some assistance from their employer. From offering childcare at work to being more flexible with their scheduling, when you help your workers find reliable childcare, you will improve your bottom line.
Why you need to care about your workers’ childcare needs.
If you run your own business, you know how much employee turnover costs. You have go through the process of hiring and training new staff. Finding ways to retain good staff should be a high priority for all companies around the planet. When companies show both an interest in how their employees manage the work/life balance and how they can enhance it, they keep their employees longer. According to a recent report on National Public Radio, being happy at work is more important to many workers than their salary. There are several ways to help employees get the child care they need.
Office childcare at work.
This is hands down one of the best ways to make employees with children happy. When you look at Working Mothers magazine’s “Top 100 Companies for Working Mothers,” you will see that 80 of those companies offer childcare at work. Having onsite day care makes a company more attractive to many workers and it is a reason people stay with their employer.
Not only are people who work for employers with onsite childcare happier with their jobs, they are more productive when they are at the office. As a consequence of having childcare at work, employees miss less time at the office. They are happier.
If you cannot offer full time childcare at work, you may want to look into back up childcare for your employees. Often, working parents find themselves in a bad bind when their childcare arrangements fall through. Having a back up at the office would help your employees a lot.
Provide resource and referral lists for your employees.
Even if you cannot provide childcare at work, you can use your network and contacts to develop a list of childcare providers in the area where you operate. There are even services you can contract with that help connect parents with daycare providers. At the very least, you are showing your employees that you care about them and their needs, which makes them more likely to stay with your company.
Provide programs to help employees pay for childcare.
There are programs that provide reimbursements for childcare let people take the amount of money they will need to spend on childcare from their paycheck on a pre-tax basis. These are called “Dependent Care Assistance Programs” (DCAPs). There are services that you will need to use to administer these programs but they can be very helpful for working parents. You can also just offer straight up subsidies for childcare.
Provide options for flexible scheduling for working parents.
This can look different for different industries. If it is possible, let your employees work from home at least some of the time. If you need the work to be done onsite and cannot provide childcare at work, let them shift their schedules so that they can care for their children when the care is needed most. This is often in the morning or afternoon. They may need to help get the kids off to school in the morning or be there when school ends in the afternoon. By working with them on creating a flexible schedule for your working parents, you can make their home lives much less stressful, which will make their work product better and will reduce the amount of time they are absent.
Happy employees are more likely to stay with a company than unhappy ones. Knowing their children are cared for is one way to make workers very happy.