Quality of Lifehacks
Three Quality of Lifehacks to Create a Dad-Friendly Workplace
Quality of Lifehacks
Quality of Lifehacks

As we prepare to celebrate Father’s Day this month, we do so knowing that the days of a bread-winning father and a stay-at-home mother are no longer the reality for most families. In fact, both parents work in 59.1 percent of married couples with children in this country.

And, while a lot of attention is focused on working mothers and the challenges they face in balancing work and home life, the truth is that dads are facing these same stresses. A 30 year-long study by the Families and Work Institute found that between 1977 and 2008, the percentage of working fathers who reported work-family conflict rose from 35 to 60 percent, while the corresponding increase from working mothers was much smaller – from 41 to 47 percent.

Many working dads want to be more involved at home. Recent research shows that the more time working fathers spend with their kids each day, the happier they are with their jobs – and the less likely they are to look for a new employer.

So, how can companies attract working dads and help them balance their professional and family responsibilities? Here are three Quality of Lifehacks to get started.

  1.  Put the right policies and practices in place. Do you offer flexible time options? Coaching for new parents? Child care benefits?
    Workplace flexibility is especially important to dads, with 87 percent saying they would be more involved in their kid’s lives if their employer was more flexible. This is particularly important as the time Americans spend at work has increased significantly over the past four decades.
    Get creative with what you offer to new parents. For example, some companies offer “welcome baby” kits including items like a baby thermometer and onesie. Others host family-friendly events like office trick-or-treating and family movie nights.
    2. Build a culture that values and respects working dads as well as moms. Even if you have the best benefits in the world on paper, they aren’t any good if your people feel like they shouldn’t use them. Make sure your managers encourage the new fathers on their teams to take fulfill their family commitments and advantage of the benefits that are offered. Include the ability to effectively manage flexible work arrangements when you’re evaluating and compensating your managers. And pay attention to whether your company’s leaders are modeling the right behaviors – taking time to attend their kids’ school and sporting events, handling pediatrician visits, working a flexible schedule, etc.
  2. Build a culture that values and respects working dads as well as moms. Even if you have the best benefits in the world on paper, they aren’t any good if your people feel like they shouldn’t use them. Make sure your managers encourage the new fathers on their teams to take fulfill their family commitments and advantage of the benefits that are offered. Include the ability to effectively manage flexible work arrangements when you’re evaluating and compensating your managers. And pay attention to whether your company’s leaders are modeling the right behaviors – taking time to attend their kids’ school and sporting events, handling pediatrician visits, working a flexible schedule, etc.
  3. Share stories. Work with your communications team to share stories about the fathers in your company and how they are effectively balancing their roles as dads with their professional responsibilities. Real-life stories will be believable and relatable, reinforcing your company’s commitment to creating a family-friendly environment – which will earn you greater trust and loyalty from your working dads – and moms.

What’s the most important change you can make at your company to make it easier for your working fathers succeed at work while also being more involved with their kids?

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One comment on “Three Quality of Lifehacks to Create a Dad-Friendly Workplace

  • ZCasavant says:

    Very nice article. It is nice to see something aimed at the guys for once. I appreciate Sodexo’s support for the working parents (of both sexes) and the struggles they face. It’s nice to be part of an inclusive company. Rock on!

    Reply

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