Gain Higher Employee Engagement with Paid Family Leave Deciding between work and family should never be a concern an employee is required to make. When our clients understand those values and implement programs to create a better work/life balance, we see time and time again higher employee engagement and retention.
Defining “work-life balance” is difficult. Eventually, as you stay committed to finding what works for your organization, the definition becomes less nebulous. At Helios, our definition centers around integration instead of balance. When we first start, we work with our mentors and team leads to determine what works for us: when to answer immediately, when to allow the email to sit until morning, and when to leave the phone altogether.
In 1924, the world saw changes that would make ripples in the pond for a long, long time. The first winter Olympics was held in Chamonix, France. Texas elected its first woman governor: Miriam “Ma” Ferguson. Judy Garland made her show business debut at just 2 ½ years old. And something that hits a little closer to home happened: Northern Virginia Family Service was founded.
A client recently came to me to as her HR Consultant to let me know that she was going to be having twins through surrogacy and wanted to discuss the short term disability benefits that she would receive as a result of having a child. As a human resources professional, I provided her with a straight forward response – you will not receive short term disability insurance if you are not physically having the baby yourself, as short term disability benefits are a result of a medical condition, childbirth for example, that prohibits you from physically doing your job. After talking through this with her further, we moved on to discuss the differences between the company’s medical leave policy that specifically referenced childbirth (this particular organization does not offer FMLA) and parental leave policy, which offered four fewer weeks of leave than the medical leave policy. This particular employee’s frustrations were around one single question: Why am I offered less leave for the adoption of a child than if I had given birth – I still have an infant to take care of? I realized through conversations with my colleagues that parents who adopt children often have this same frustration and do not understand why they are not offered the same leave benefits as employees who give birth to a child. We are seeing more and more organizations developing leave benefits for employees that take adoption into consideration; while this does not necessarily provide equal benefits to adopting parents, it does provide them with significant benefits that were not previously provided to them. Below is a comparison of leave benefits that may be available to a new parent who is either adopting or giving birth to a child.
Over the years I’ve worked with a range of companies in various industries and I’ve found that managing the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a common challenge. The FMLA provision was implemented in 1993 as a means to allow eligible employees to have job protection while taking care of medical needs for themselves or eligible family members. The concept of FMLA was great, in the sense that employees could take off the time they needed to get well, return to work, and not worry about being fired or terminated while out. However, over time, there have been lots of concerns regarding loopholes that are being taken advantage of by employees.