Employers should only offer flexible working where it makes their employees more productive, according to the director of My Family Care.
Speaking at the Work and Family Show, Ben Black told employers they need to make sure there is a business benefit to flexibility and offering benefits such as back up childcare. My Family Care helps employers find child and eldercare solutions for their workers.
Flexible working is not a good thing unless people are working harder and are happier and more productive. “It’s up to the people working flexibly to prove that they’re doing a better job,” said Black. “It needs to be linked to performance.”
He suggested employers link their benefits to staff performance surveys and make sure they measure the effects of their policies.
“Back-up childcare is absolutely amazing if you put it in place in the right way. Only pay for it if an important, valuable employee is going to be working productively,” he said.
Black added that employers looking to change their cultures around flexible working need to find senior role models and convince fathers to be vocal about their flexibility. “It takes someone senior to commit to it and make it happen,” he said. “If you can get some of the most macho men in your organisation holding up their hands and saying ‘I’m a dad’ you can do brilliant things to push the culture forward.”
Black added that employers should support their staff at different stages of their lives – not just parents of young children, but those with older dependents, carers and people with hobbies and interests they want to pursue. “School holidays; children trying to get into university; a windsurfing 25 year-old. Why wouldn’t you give them the same support?”
Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/earthwatcher/
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