Family-Friendly Work Options All Employees Can Use

Some companies like to tout themselves as being family-friendly, but are they really if their family-friendly policies only benefit married couples or employees raising children? “Family-friendly work options are not only for employees with immediate family,” says Eileen Timmins, Ph.D., founder of Aingilin. “Having diversity of options for the diverse workforce family is the key.” “Family” doesn’t necessarily refer to only spouses and minor children — it can encompass domestic partners, stepfamilies, aging parents and close aunts or uncles. Truly family-friendly policies also apply to singles and employees without children. Paid time off is one option all employees can use. “PTO is an option, but many more companies are using ‘take what you need’ time,” Timmins says. “An employee takes the time they need for vacation or sick time. It’s similar to an honor policy — if it becomes excessive, then the employer will approach the person and see if …

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Does Your Company Offer Competitive Paid Leave?

Most U.S. employers aren’t required to offer their employees paid leave, but many do and this year they’re offering more. According to a recent Employee Benefits research report by the Society for Human Resource Management, more U.S. employers are offering paid leave benefits. For example, compared to previous years, more employers are offering: Paid sick leave plans Paid parental leave Paid vacation time Paid personal days As these numbers change, it’s important to review your own leave policies to ensure your offerings are competitive. Offering less paid leave than other companies in your industry or geographic area will make it harder for you to attract and maintain top talent. Top Paid Benefits According to the SHRM survey, the top paid leave benefit is paid holidays, which are offered by 98 percent of respondents. Other popular paid leave benefits include: Paid bereavement leave, offered by 86 percent of respondents. Paid jury duty …

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How to Build an Effective Flexible Workplace

Companies are finding that providing employees with flexibility does more than help attract and retain top talent: It can also improve the bottom line. According to a study by Workplace Trends, almost 70 percent of human resources leaders use workplace flexibility programs for recruiting and retention. But more remarkably, almost three-quarters of companies that have work flexibility programs reported increased productivity, and more than 85 percent reported improved employee satisfaction. “Everyone’s work and personal lives are intertwined, and what happens in one part of a person’s life affects every other part,” says Laura Hamill, chief people officer at Limeade, which provides its employees with flexibility by allowing them to run errands or make appointments during the day, and by allowing everyone to work from home one day a week. Employees are likely to resent employers that expect them to work around the clock or be at work at certain times …

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How to Design a Leave Program That Works for Your Business

Time off from work makes it possible for your employees to relax and recharge, run important errands and spend time with their families. When it’s easy for them to leave work without hassle or confusion, they can come back to work refreshed and ready to tackle new challenges. A clear leave policy and a philosophy that reflects your company culture are key to ensuring people get the time off they need without holding the organization back. This checklist can help you identify your company’s philosophy toward time off and assemble a policy that works for everyone. Look to Your Values Some of the things your company stands for can serve as guideposts for your leave program. If your values include flexibility, work-life balance and terms such as “family friendly,” your employees will expect a generous and adaptable policy that makes it easy to request time off. A hard-charging culture that puts …

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What You Lose When You Don’t Use Your Paid Time Off

What You Lose When You Don’t Use Your Paid Time Off

Early in her career, Lisa Martin says she was trying so hard to earn her keep and prove herself that she often gave up her allotted vacation, personal sick time and sometimes even lunch hours. One year, she ended up leaving an entire week and a half on the table, and only about 3 of those days rolled over into the next year. “Looking back, I understand why I worked so hard, but I wish I had taken more vacations or at least a couple of 4-day weekends here and there,” she says. “My stress levels were through the roof, my metabolism came to a screeching halt and I gained a ton of weight that I’m still working very hard to shed in my early 30s.” Martin’s experience isn’t unique. According to a study by Oxford Economics for the U.S. Travel Association, U.S. employees lost 169 million days off in 2013 …

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