I recognize there are a lot of working moms out there. I honestly don’t know how moms who work, are able to function and be an effective wife and mother when they get home but I know many who can pull off that seemingly superhuman feat. However, Mother’s Day has passed and Father’s Day is coming so no offense to you moms out there but I want to focus on us the dads.
Now first recognize that I may be a bit biased, you know, being a guy. I know some of you reading this might be confused with a name like Chris, there are days I even wonder when the person on the other end of the drive through says, "Please pull around ma’am" (which has happened on more than one occasion, but I digress). I am a father of four beautiful children, I would even argue they might be the most beautiful children in the history of mankind, but again, I digress.
Let me get to my point, I think dads in the workplace sometimes get overlooked for the effort they put in, trying to balance work and family life. In fact, a recent article in Talent Management supports this idea. Many dads also strive to have work/life balance, not just moms. They want to be home for ball games, to help with homework, and to just spend time with their children. I know a person who was given a lot of grief because he took all of his allotted time off when they had a baby instead of the standard one week. It should not be like that. For starters, who in their right mind thought one week was enough time to adjust to a new born, clearly someone who has never had a new born. Second, why shouldn’t a dad be encouraged to be at home with his new child?
So what can companies do? Well the larger issue goes beyond companies but there are some things that can help. Giving employees flexible work hours will help so they can come and go and make up the time. I had a client that made it mandatory that all employees be at work at 9:30. Needless to say the employees hated that and it really had an impact on the work environment. I had another client where the IT department made it mandatory to work 45 hours a week, even though most of the employees could get the work done in less time. Second, giving vacation, and encouraging employees to take it, will help. Don’t even get me started on two weeks vacation. Walker gives over five weeks of vacation for its employees, yeah you heard me, over five weeks, yet somehow the company has managed to survive for over 70 years, remain profitable, and do great work for great clients. That is such a blessing to know that time is there so I can try to be home with my family.
It is proven that employees that are able to achieve some sort of balance in their life are happier, have higher employee loyalty, and tend to exhibit more positive behaviors in the workplace. They also are able to have a positive impact on their families and children, and that goes beyond the workplace and can have a ripple effect for generations.
For you dads out there, have a great Father’s Day.