When earlier this year the moms of Amazon, the Momazonians, have demanded their right to backup childcare at work because the current state of affairs was impeding their career development, this felt like a volcano erupting.
The truth is, this was not just about Amazon and their policies. Childcare benefit for employees has been a burning issue for quite some time and still is. Whilst a lot of companies are starting to give more and more attention to helping their employees, the majority are still largely overlooking the matter.
There are several reasons why management should focus more on the issue and stop ignoring the positive effect this could have on business.
The True Diversity
The current state of childcare arrangements (or lack thereof) is a legacy of the old days when it was quite normal for women not to focus on their careers, but rather stick to being housewives taking care of children.
Those times are long gone, but the legacy remains. It is no secret that this has been preventing career progression for working mothers and putting them in an unfavorable position to women employees without children or men. However, if we dig deeper, this is a problem for all. These days modern parents tend to take common responsibility for their kids, thus, any lack of backup childcare at work is becoming just as detrimental to working fathers, as to working mothers, and affecting employees without children who have to cover up for their colleagues.
By fulfilling this need, more skilled workers will be able to progress and give their best to the company’s development, ultimately fulfilling their potential and improving businesses as a whole.
Consider the Psychology
When faced with a need to find a childcare backup, 51% of parents say they can’t find a babysitter quickly and easily enough. The top reason for this being that finding someone they like is very stressful. Yet, all sorts of emergencies happen, and parents have to take action. At the end of the day, the lack of stability and security in matters related to children leave parents in a state of stress and anxiety, which inevitably affects their sense of well-being and productivity at work. You can’t really concentrate on daily routines and job tasks when you have to worry about your child!
Simply taking this burden off of their shoulders can create a healthier and more secure and stable environment.
According to a study done by a US nonprofit research group Child Care Aware, companies lose up to $4 billion annually in the US alone due to absenteeism, tardiness, and reduced workforce productivity associated with breakdowns in childcare arrangements.
To add on top of it, the recruitment costs related to replacing employees who went to look for a benefits package providing childcare in other companies are not even taken into consideration but could be quite substantial.
These covert expenses could be avoided, and money spent on introducing a comprehensive childcare policy could lead to an extra advantage on the market.
Companies these days offer all sorts of benefits and perks to enhance the work-life balance of the employees, from discounted gym rates and free meals to compensated tuition and other education opportunities. Yet such an important area of life, like childcare, is still not getting sufficient coverage. Those companies who are looking to attract more millennial specialists, need to pay particular attention. Various studies have shown that millennials carefully consider the benefits packages when choosing a job, and would go for an option that better suits their needs.
After all, in the world where we could do just about anything in our mobiles, including buy tickets, book a taxi, rent a flat, or find a language teacher, why can’t we have the same level of convenience with childcare at work? Among many options, having good and reliable babysitters just a few clicks away and facilitated by the company could be one of the easiest solutions both for busy parents and their employers.
At the end of the day, you want to have your employees feeling happy with their needs well taken care of!