Myths and Realities of the Family-Friendly Workplace {Part 2}

July 16,2014 at 3:00 am

Myths about workplace flexibility

Flex time was a hot topic of conversation during the recent White House Summit on Working Families. President Obama and the First Lady themselves referenced the subject at the June event, talking about their own experiences working and taking care of young children. Yet face time (strict 9-to-5) remains the gold standard in many places – in some companies, it can be a career ender just to ask about a flexible schedule.

Last week I looked at actual family-friendly supports. Today, we take on what you may think you know about flex time. (more…)

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Why a Child’s Education Matters to Employers

July 14,2014 at 11:30 am
Filed under: educational advising

high school graduates throwing mortarboard caps

Not long ago our Chief HR Officer, Dan Henry, outlined a primer on the downfalls of the engagement movement. It’s not engagement itself that’s the problem (engaged employees are good), it’s the hastily assembled pursuit that doesn’t make sense (i.e., ineffective approaches are bad).

Re-framing the Employee Engagement Issue

So I’d like to think about it differently – what can support engagement? It is obvious how child care and elder care does the job. A parent with child care is a parent who can work. But clearly identifying easily actionable ways for a child to get good grades and get into college – let’s face it, things that every parent worries about – is just as liberating. A mom who isn’t worried about deciphering the FAFSA form is a mom who can work on an RFP to the best of her ability. A dad with solid advice about a child with special needs is a dad who can think business strategy. (more…)

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Myths and Realities of the Family-Friendly Workplace {Part 1}

July 10,2014 at 11:30 am

Family-Friendly Workplaces

Recently, we published an infographic called Family Means Fired.

It’s based on data from our new Modern Family Index showing the startling fact that in 2014, nearly half of working parents fear their responsibilities for their children will get them fired from their jobs.

One journalist called the information “disturbing,” asking, “What do employers fear when it comes to implementing family-friendly policies?” (more…)

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You’ve Got Mail: Is a Postcard-Sized FAFSA Best for Working Parents?

July 8,2014 at 11:20 am
Filed under: educational advising

FAFSA proposal's effect on families

A financial aid application that consists of only two questions and can fit on a postcard? I admit, as a busy working parent and former busy financial aid officer, the prospect sounds tempting. I don’t know of a working parent or aid administrator who couldn’t use a little time savings. (more…)

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Hitting the Mobile Mark on Elder Care

July 2,2014 at 2:00 pm
Filed under: back-up care,Elder care

Marc_elder-care-mobile-mark_7.2.14

It’s called many things: our golden years, our sunset days…the twilight of our lives. But regardless of what we call them, the elder years are also a time of major transitions.

(more…)

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The Truth About Family Friendly Workplaces

July 1,2014 at 12:15 pm
Filed under: work/life balance

A call for family-friendly workplaces

The following guest post comes from Lisa Oppenheimer. With a career ranging from freelance to full-time, Lisa has a diverse employment background as perspective and writes frequently “from the trenches” about the real life challenges of people in today’s workplaces

My husband and I were in the delivery room with our first child when we got a message about his job – or more specifically, that he no longer had one.  The company Steve was working for had gone under – no job, no severance, no insurance.

(more…)

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One Size Fits One: Corporate Tuition Assistance Programs

June 26,2014 at 11:15 am

corporate tuition assistance

Wow, what an exciting week for tuition assistance! In light of the buzz around corporate education benefits that has emerged recently, I know a number of employers are starting to look at their own tuition reimbursement and professional development strategies. The big question employers are asking right now is “What’s next for OUR program?”

What’s Next for Your Tuition Assistance Program?

It’s a great question to ask, and I love that there’s an increased focus now on educational assistance and workforce development. As Dave Lissy, the CEO of Bright Horizons recently stated, “…the tuition assistance benefit is really one of the last bastions of unmanaged spend in corporate America today. It’s hard to believe that in this economy, with the constant tightening of budgets and scrutiny on benefit expenses,  15 to 20 billion dollars are spent each year on tuition assistance with minimal tracking of actual ROI. Educational assistance may very well be a benefit for employees, but there is no reason that employers shouldn’t reap the rewards as well. (more…)

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Bright Horizons and Pres. Obama Show Support for Working Families

June 25,2014 at 2:11 pm

Yesterday, this tweet appeared from Anne-Marie Slaughter:

The message, from the author of the 2012 Atlantic article on women and “Having it All,” was a cheer for Bright Horizons CEO Dave Lissy and his prominent role promoting supportive business cultures at this week’s White House Summit on Working Families. Recognizing Bright Horizons leading voice on these issues, Lissy was one of a handful of CEOs invited to meet personally with President Obama and to contribute to both a roundtable discussion on employers’ roles in supporting working families, and a panel discussion on the impact of caregiving responsibilities on work. (more…)

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Employees’ Top Financial Challenges

June 20,2014 at 12:15 pm
Filed under: educational advising

college financial stress

People worry about money. Not shocking news perhaps, but it may surprise you how much financial stress affects the workplace.

In a new Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) survey that polled HR professionals,  70% reported that money-related stress had some impact on employee performance at their company. The most oft-cited negative effects of employees’ financial worries were increased stress levels and a reduced ability to focus on work. Outside of these hidden costs to productivity, financial challenges have very visible consequences in the workplace. 62% of HR professionals reported that employees were more likely to take a loan from their retirement plan in this past year than ever before, and 44% reported a greater likelihood of hardship withdrawals. (more…)

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My Father’s Day Resolution

June 13,2014 at 10:30 am

working dads and father's day

I never believed in New Year’s resolutions. Even as a child, I remember shaking my head and rolling my eyes whenever a friend would divulge their post January 1st plans. I would silently groan whenever someone would tell me in December how the New Year would be all about change. “No more junk food,” they would say, taking a bite out of their triple cheeseburger with fries. “Next month, I’m giving all of this up for good…oh, please pass the ketchup.”

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am all for people turning over a new leaf, making smarter decisions, and making positive changes that affect their lives. But I also think that resolutions should be impactful, long lasting, and more than a quick fix. This is why I am unveiling my new idea: The Father’s Day Resolution. (more…)

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