The family plays a key role in personal accomplishment and in happiness. It is also key for society. And the development of responsible individuals, and conscious, productive and happy citizens, depends on the adequate functioning of the family.
CSR proposes that, without substituting the public sphere, businesses may leverage their role in society in order to generate a positive impact that goes beyond its valid goal of obtaining an economic benefit.
Finding the balance between work and the families of their collaborators is something that ought to matter to the entrepreneur.
It is important to treat employees as persons who have a private life, to incorporate the personal and the family dimension when we are leading persons, incorporating new habits into the management style of cadres and managers.
To think that one can ask people to leave their problems outside of the company is unrealistic and sightless.
In these matters, of course, it is important to approach things with the necessary caution, because the family realm is private.
Not being able to strike a balance between work-related obligations and family needs leads to stress, which causes disconnect, lack of interest, unjustified absence or an “absent” presence at work, without productivity.
I believe that happiness has much to do with a feeling of peace, of tranquility, which one has when one can fulfill the dedication to one’s family, with a satisfying job, being able to pay the bills. When we can’t do that, we stress out and it builds up. It is reasonable to think that, as an entrepreneur, in my company, I want to deal on a daily basis with happy people, who are not under stress.
The positive effect that the family can have on the reality of a person’s job is that, if they feel well, they will feel motivated, this will increase the satisfaction from doing their job and will decrease the level of stress, if it should occur. Also, a motivated and satisfied person creates greater loyalty towards the company and increases productivity.
Likewise, if a company provides some type of care to the worker’s family, he or she feels more motivated to belong to the company. This increases his or her loyalty to the company and increases satisfaction from doing the job, thus increasing productivity.
There are numerous studies that indicate that the salary is not all that matters to a collaborator.
What can the company do?
- Develop outside and inside the company the explicit commitment to the goal of striking a balance between work life and family life. For example, incorporating the concepts in the companies’ Mission, Vision and/or Values.
- Actively disseminate the policies, programs and actions that the company develops in order to foster a balance between fulfilling family responsibilities and work responsibilities.
- Apply policies, programs or actions focused on promoting among the company’s personnel, with a special emphasis on those who have the greatest family responsibilities, the values of fulfilling work and family responsibilities.
Here are some measures that can be taken according to the company’s scale and possibilities for putting into practice this commitment:
Of course, it goes without saying that the company complies with all that the law stipulates as far as paternity, maternity and other regulations pertaining to the family.
- Flexible schemes and policies for scheduling working hours. Concentrating workdays, continuous workdays, free Saturdays, schedules that allow for administrative formalities outside of work, avoiding traffic peak hours and loss of time, working from home. Making advances in terms of evaluating productivity and results, more than merely complying with the scheduled hours.
- Existence of schemes and/or mechanisms for granting off-hours for tending to family duties.
- Existence of care mechanisms for providing family care to elderly or sick family members.
- Facilitating daycare services for collaborators’ offspring.
- Criteria and mechanisms for supporting relevant family events (wedding, child birth or adoption, financial support for extraordinary expenses, scholarships for children).
- Adoption of the concept of striking a balance between work life and family life in the mission, vision and code of ethics of the organizations and to provide adequate communication.
- Existence and dissemination of courses meant for the organization’s workers regarding the balance between family life, work life and family matters.
- Establishing and disseminating in the organization sports, cultural and social programs that strike a balance between work and family life.
- Existence and support for activities in the vacation period for the workers and their families.
What is important for determining the actions is to establish a dialog that allows to know what the actual sentiments are, conduct surveys and establish relations of respect and sensitivity that allow to establish trust.
As an entrepreneur, part of my responsibility is to understand that the activities of my company have an impact on the lives and happiness of my collaborators, and that if this impact is negative we all suffer, and that if it is positive we all benefit: the company, the collaborator, the family and society.