Hosting 8:30 a.m. meetings after zero hours of sleep, telling I.T. you need a new work laptop because someone spilled apple juice all over the old one, buying a new tie after a vomiting child ruined your favorite: These are just a few of the joyful moments working parents get to experience every day.
Luckily, more employers have recognized that happy workers equal good workers, and by offering tools and benefits to help employees with families, they can increase productivity and reduce turnover. While they can’t do much about a ruined tie, employers can help create a corporate culture that helps working parents thrive. From software leader Salesforce to accounting firm Ernst & Young, employers in every field have something to offer parents at their workplace.
Support groups for parents, paid backup care, and fertility benefits are just some of the ways these organizations develop a family-friendly corporate culture.
Ohana, Hawaiian for family, is one of the main facets of Salesforce culture, and it’s more than a cute phrase.
Salesforce employees are entitled to up to 26 paid weeks of parental leave for primary caregivers. They can also receive adoption benefits and even meal reimbursements.
Salesforce moms who travel for work get special benefits too. They get a membership to Milk Stork, which provides breast-milk shipping services for breastfeeding moms on business trips. For parents whose child care falls through at the last minute (which would be every parent ever), Salesforce offers 10 days of backup care.
Genentech, a biotechnology corporation, has developed a family-friendly culture by offering flexible schedules, backup child care, and even fertility benefits. It even offers unlimited sick time, a precious commodity for anyone dealing with, say, two flu-stricken toddlers. One employee even described Genentech’s work culture as a sanctuary.
3. The Boston Consulting Group.
The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) goes beyond standard PTO and telecommuting to offer paid sabbaticals and support networks.
Employees can also get a free subscription to the mindfulness app Headspace, a great tool to help parents stay calm and collected after their child has just flushed the keys down the toilet or accidentally dialed 911. The firm’s tuition-reimbursement plan helps Millennial employees, many of whom want to start families without the shadow of student debt hanging over them.
What sets Microsoft’s approach to family needs apart is the sheer range of emotional and pragmatic support they offer new parents. Groups for new and expecting parents meet each month to discuss everything from prenatal care to day care. Microsoft also hires a personal-consultant service that provides employees with guidance on topics likes child milestones, special-needs issues, and more. Supervisors also have access to FAQ resources to help them manage employees on parental leave.
With benefits for employees’ parents, children, and even furry family members, this engineering and design firm has one of the most well-rounded family programs on this list.
Not only does Kimley-Horn provide backup care for both children and adults, but it also offers pet-care benefits and even tutoring assistance. Their work week also reflects their commitment to a family-friendly culture: Every Friday is a half day.
Wyeth makes keeping strong employees a priority, so they make it easy for new parents to stay with them. The pharmaceutical company has two on-site daycares and matches up to $100 a month for daycare expenses. The executive director of Wyeth’s HR policies and programs notes that, after paid leave, only 11% of new mothers left the company to have a baby.
7. Ernst & Young
Ernst & Young’s generous family-leave and flex-time policies have helped the accounting firm retain 84% of new moms. Flex-time options include a redistributed work week and reduced offers. Plus, birth mothers are eligible for short-term paid disability for an extra six weeks on top of the company’s standard parental leave.
These benefits alone aren’t what make Ernst & Young a family-friendly workplace. It’s also knowing that you can use the benefits and still grow professionally.
“Since 1993, we’ve promoted well over 100 women who’ve worked a reduced schedule to our most senior levels,” said Maryella Gockel, Ernst & Young’s flexibility strategy leader. “So women realize that just because you’re on a reduced schedule it doesn’t mean you’ve hit a dead-end in your career.”
These organizations have different missions, sizes, budgets, and industries, but they’ve all found ways to support their employees’ families. Perks like support groups and discounts on meditation apps prove that you don’t have to spend a lot to create a family-friendly corporate culture.
What does your company do to promote a family-friendly culture? Tell us in the comments!