Want Millennials? Be Family-friendly.

July 29, 2017

I recently had my first baby, and I did not get particularly compelling maternity benefits. Some part of my business brain understood. A start-up needs to keep the lights on, but I also begrudged the short-sighted perspective. I was the first U.S. employee to have a baby, and was given the minimum that the law requires. I certainly did not come back from maternity leave feeling compelled to "lean in." Especially, as I see so many smart companies providing my peers with a better situation.

 

This recent article asserts, "If news organizations want to attract and retain millennial journalists, newsrooms must better meet the needs of parents with young children—and create better work-life balance for everyone." So, of course it caught my eye.

 

In summary, it suggests four recommendations companies consider to support the growing millennial workforce and diversity in family responsibilities. "All of these recommendations are given in the context of the realities of the news business in the United States. While some recommendations are informed by successful, progressive policies in other industries, some of these suggestions cost nothing to implement."

 

The author behind these four suggestions offers lengthy research on why these make good business sense. Below is only the topline summary.

 

1) Give Paid Maternity Leave. I was sad to read that " Only 14 percent of U.S. workers even have access to paid leave."

 

2) Give Fathers and Non-Birth Partners Paid Family Leave. Increasingly, we are tolerant and accepting of families that our grandparents would not have seen as "traditional." Please let our employment benefits reflect our cultural values and encourage fairness.

 

3) Create Official Work-from-Home and Flex Policies. Working alongside co-workers who had a manager with inflexible work-from-home policies created resentment. Further I could see that the people who worked from home were actually logged in doing work for more hours, because they never wanted to be perceived as "away," while those in the office took more liberties with coffee breaks and long lunch hours.

 

4) Prioritize Work-Life Balance for Everyone. "43% Percentage of workers who would choose flexibility over a pay raise"

 

I expect that as the Millienials become the bosses, these things will happen. And smart companies thinking ahead by implementing these policies, and thereby attracting top talent.

 

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