Firms Find That Supporting Work-Life Balance Strengthens Retention, Recruitment Efforts

By Catherine Roberts
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) It’s not a surprise that companies are changing Work-life policies to retain and recruit employees who are starting families. Many of these employees are moving up the ranks, and it costs 1.5 to 2 times their salaries to replace them.

MINNEAPOLIS

More and more employers are making the business case for family-friendly workplace policies.

Several top-performing companies already offer six weeks or more of paid leave as they try to retain parents.

Led by technology and financial companies jockeying for talent, many have a more flexible workplace and more help with finding child care than a decade ago. The issue is getting renewed attention, thanks perhaps to advocacy from President-elect Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka.

Now many firms are going even further, all in an attempt to make 30- and 40-somethings happy. For example, starting Jan. 1, 3M changed its policy from 12 weeks unpaid leave to a total of 20 weeks, with 10 weeks of paid and 10 weeks of unpaid leave for both birth and adopting parents.

It’s not a surprise that companies are changing policies to retain, and recruit, employees who are starting families. Many of these employees are moving up the ranks, and it costs 1.5 to 2 times their salaries to replace senior leaders and 70 percent of their salaries for team members, according to Workplace­Dynamics, a Pennsylvania company that surveys companies about employee satisfaction and produces Top Workplaces lists in 45 markets.

The national accounting firm KPMG already had paid parental leave and flexible work policies on the books.

But a few years ago, human resources managers started hearing how employees with families, especially new parents, were feeling out of sorts trying to balance the new needs of their households with the desire to succeed at work.

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