October once again rears its head and with it comes fall weather (maybe not quite in Arizona, but we take what we can get), open enrollment in many organizations, year-end wrap-ups and many other important topics for HR folks. Hopefully not lost in the mix is National Work & Family Month.
Established in 2003, National Work & Family Month focuses on the challenges working families face every day. Now is a great time to raise the bar to ensure your workplace meets employees' needs and addresses the challenges they face.
WorldatWork has helped organizations find ways to make it easier for employees to succeed at work and at home. And while work-life “balance” may be dead (and that’s a good thing), work-life effectiveness or integration is still alive and kicking, and organizations continue to find their “balance” in what is offered and how it makes sense to the business.
WorldatWork recognizes 7 categories of work-life effectiveness; yet, while many of these programs exist in organizations today, there is likelier some disconnect in terms of branding and communication. Many of these programs are siloed in different areas within HR, thereby missing an opportunity to take advantage of the synergy they give to employees in addressing these everyday challenges. And employers may well be unaware of the plethora of offerings that employees may consider helpful in their quest for work-life effectiveness. It’s important to “meet them where they are” when determining the best mix of programs that fits their needs and fits your organization’s budget and culture.
We find that the organizations with an employee value proposition (EVP) that includes a strategic approach to enhancing the employee experience will many times include some if not all of these 7 categories. Furthermore, organizations that do include these consistently show higher engagement among their employees and better attraction and retention rates than those organizations that do not. In today’s competitive talent market, this can certainly enhance your organization’s ability to stand out from the rest.
Another area that organizations are moving toward is branding total rewards offerings and viewing employees as consumers of that brand. Similar to how marketing teams brand products and services to their organizations’ customers. This is another excellent way to emphasize to employees and potential candidates that the organization recognizes the various pulls employees are faced with and offers solutions to these very real issues. It’s beneficial to consider creating a campaign focused on your work-life offerings.
If you’re not communicating these benefits of employment, you’re missing out on an opportunity to showcase your organization and how it helps employees in their efforts to achieve success both at work and at home.
As I mentioned, many organizations are moving into open enrollment season. What better time than right now? There’s already a lot of communication going on about benefits the organization will offer in the new year. Take advantage by highlighting those programs that fall under the work-life banner. And remember: Don’t just communicate during open enrollment; there are 11 other months in the year! Make sure the message sinks in so your employees remember these benefits when they’re needed.