Are workplaces family-friendly?

Trevor Cook as found a great opinion on family friendly workplaces via Tim Watts of the Nous Group.

I am concerned by the comments from the CEO Tim was talking to, as it seems was Tim and Trevor on how to manage the aging workforce. Gen Xs and Ys are very different to the current Baby Boomers in what drives them and what they expect from an employer. Paternalistic employers will begin to find it harder and harder to attract key talent in the future if they do not start to engage in many of the activities Tim highlights.

Many of these topics were discussed last year at AHRI’s People in Business conference. Such as how to manage when you have 3 generations in the workplace, you know when the Gen Y sitting next to you is only there 3 days week, because the other two they are running their own business in a completely different market, who’s mobile phone goes off every 5 mins with an SMS, and the IM screen buzzes as they keep contact with their social/business network. Or the Gen X’er that just wants the baby boomer in the corner office to retire so they can have their rightful place. While the baby boomer is staying in the corner office because they can no longer afford to retire. Now this is not a bad thing it is just different, and organisations need to learn how to engage with these employees.

I personally also feel that as things progress if your organisation does not present itself as a forward thinking organisation from a workplace technology point of view you will just not be able to attract Gen Y’s. This process will begin with the first contact the applicant has with your organisation, which will most likely be in an online fashion. Therefore do you track abandonment from your career’s site, maybe this should be can you? Will we need to understand why people keep arriving at your site but leaving within 10 secs and you have a very low conversion rates of visitors to job applications? There are many other examples.

Will your processes internally make is easy for employees to have a family friendly life. I know many organisations that make it extremely difficult for employees to connect back to the corporate network from home. While there is a debate that working from home is not family friendly I would far prefer to be at home to see my child and then work late at home than work late in the office and not see him. Of course in the pure sense of the term “family friendly” you really shouldn’t need to work late 🙂

Tim’s article certainly poses many great questions, which unfortunately there are not many great answers to.

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