What do today's employees really want from their employers?
That question has spurred renewed interest in work/life initiatives, especially among employers who thought they were too small to have one. But, what can employers reasonably expect from work/life programs? Is the investment worth the effort? Research compiled at Work|Life Benefits in Cypress, California, gives you a little data to back up your claims if you're trying to sell the CEO on a work/life initiative.
- Work/life benefits are as important as health insurance, according to 90 percent of 1,000+ employees surveyed by the Gallup Organization in 1998.
- As many as 20 percent of non-working mothers with young children do not seek employment because they see quality child care as unaffordable or unavailable.
- One-third of college students and interns surveyed by the U.S. House of Representatives in 1999 said that work/life balance is the most important characteristic of the "ideal" company to work for.
Trimming Costly Absenteeism
- In 1997, the average employee missed 11.5 workdays to handle personal and family matters, not including sick days.
- Family issues account for more than 26 percent of absences, compared to 22 percent for illness.
- 33 percent of employees utilizing employer-provided work/life programs reported fewer absences as a result.
Keeping Pace with the Workforce
- The number of US households with annual incomes under $50,000 will grow 3.2 percent by 2003, and more than 12 million of these will claim incomes of less than $10,000, up 5 percent from 1998 (with less earning power, employees will turn to employers for more non-compensation benefits).
- More than one-fourth of surveyed workers said that balancing work and family is more important than competitive salary, job security or the need for an advanced degree.
- Male employees are 10 percent more likely to quit over work/life conflicts than female employees.
Balancing the bottom line
- In contrast to the S&P 500, which showed an overall 89% return for the years 1996 through 1998, the 61 publicly-traded companies that made the Working Mother list of "100 Best Companies for Working Mothers" showed a return of 98 percent.
- By one major bank's estimates, work/life programs save 14-18 hours per employee per use.
SOURCE: Work|Life Benefits, Cypress, CA, March 9, 2000. 1-800-949-7948.