Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Work-life plans should not just be for parents

We have a two-for today. Pay attention to the second article, which addresses both time off policies and compnsation packages.

Joyce M. Rosenberg: Personal time off for all

Colleen Haviland, founder and president of Xsell Resources Inc. and Ready to Hire, two businesses in Willow Grove, Pa., sees no difference between giving parents time off for a child's game and giving childless workers time to go to sporting or theatrical events.

"No matter if it's children or any type of other commitment, we all have a real life outside of work," she said "If they're a good employee, when they're here they give 110 percent, so you should make exceptions for them."
. . .
Bonnie Beirne, director of service operations for Administaff Inc., a Houston-based human resources and staffing company, noted that today's workforce tends to be very diverse – with parents, nonparents and empty-nesters who may want time off for a variety of reasons. . . . Jennifer Blum Feldman. . . suggests owners think about how to handle time-off requests before the situation comes up – in other words, develop a policy that will prevent questions of unfairness.

Ms. Feldman noted that without a policy, employers could inadvertently discriminate against some staffers when granting time off. It's safest to consult a labor relations attorney or human resources specialist when formulating a policy, she said.
Mommy-Track Backlash

"Please don't tell me I need to have a baby to have this time off!"
. . .
Your family-friendly policies may be unfair—if your company hasn't carefully considered its approach to work-life balance.

To support all employees' work, home, community, and personal goals, consider these guidelines:

Strive for Equity, not Equality
Childless employees have as much right to their personal lives as working parents. But treating everyone equitably doesn't mean treating them identically. Figure out
how many reduced workloads your department can afford. Then, with your team,
explore creative ideas that may appeal to different individuals.
. . .
Tie Compensation to Quality of Work, not Quantity of Dependents
To sustain employees' commitment to your company, make sure benefits packages don't favor parents over nonparents. Tie all compensation—including time off and other nonfinancial benefits—to work well done. Judge the relative value of each employee to the company and reward them accordingly—regardless of whether they're parents.

The article contains more specific suggestions for achieveing equality. I have notices many articles like this lately. I wonder if companies are listening.

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