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National Work and Family Month prompts HR pros to help employees achieve balance
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Balancing work and family responsibilities has become increasingly difficult in the modern workplace, as advanced technology, economic concerns and societal pressures make it hard for people to keep the concepts of job and home separate. October, which is National Work and Family Month (observed since 2003 pursuant to a U.S. Senate resolution), is a good time for HR professionals to consider creating or enhancing programs that will help reconcile work/life issues in their organizations. A project of SHRM called
When Work Works (WWW) promotes the creation of effective flexible workplaces; the WWW initiative's annual
awards recognize groundbreaking ideas and promising or successful practices in this area.
Flexibility is vital to an effective workplace, and yields positive outcomes for both employers and employees. Workplace flexibility programs can include family leave, flex time, compressed workweeks, telecommuting, employee-managed time, reduced hours, welcoming environments/worksites, coaching to assist parents' transition back to work and other innovative solutions. Employees at flexible workplaces report greater job engagement and satisfaction, increased desire to stay, lower stress and better overall health. Employers that implement effective workflex programs are more likely to attract and retain the right talent, build a thriving and energized workforce, and develop useful performance expectation strategies.
Effective workplaces are not one-size-fits-all scenarios, however. Employer and employee needs are determined by a multitude of factors, including company size, type of business, operational hours and available resources. Fortunately, SHRM-CPs and SHRM-SCPs have the applied knowledge and situational judgment to create and implement individualized workflex solutions. Workplace flexibility programs are key concepts of
Employee Engagement & Retention and Total Rewards, two functional areas of
HR Expertise described in the SHRM Body of Competency and Knowledge (BoCK), the foundational document of SHRM certification. Familiarity with workflex is an indication of a SHRM certificant's technical proficiency in HR management.
As HR experts, leaders and innovators, SHRM credential holders have the ability to think creatively while helping their organizations stay ahead of the latest workplace trends. They have much in common with winners of the
2017 When Work Works Awards. This year's nearly 300 award recipients addressed work/life concerns with pioneering efforts tailored to their employees' particular needs. Most included benefits that embraced a family-first approach to work. Some of their notable programs are highlighted below.
More information about workflex resources, research and best practices—and the next WWW awards cycle—are available through
When Work Works.
Notable Winners of the 2017 When Work Works Awards
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