The 30th edition of Working Mother’s 100 Best Companies for – you guessed it – working mothers dropped earlier this month.
To compile the list, the magazine’s uses an application with more than 450 questions covering everything from leave policies and child care benefits to advancement programs and flexible work arrangements.
Care.com congratulates all of those companies who have made the list. Collectively, they represent 2.1 million employees, 46 percent of whom are women.
What the 100 Best Companies list really represents, however, is more than great places for moms to work. This is a reflection of organizations that recognize and support the needs of our modern workforce, one that’s 50 percent women and filled with caregivers from all walks of life.
Every company on the list offers flex work arrangements, paid maternity leave and leadership training, and all but 11 provide company-sponsored backup care. Here, we’ll look at how those attributes make a company a great place to work for everyone – not just working moms.
- Flex Work Supports Work-Life Integration
You never know when the school nurse is going to call, or when a snowstorm might cause school to close for the day. The flexibility to deal with family issues when they arise are just as important as parental leave in the long run. Whether it’s equipping employees to work remotely or trusting that they’ll reward your flexibility with a job well done, working parents – like all employees – thrive in a modern workplace that does not expect them to be tethered to a desk for 8, 9 or 10 hours every day.
Related: How Work-Life Benefits Improve Employee Performance
- Paid Maternity Leave Keeps New Moms Engaged
You know the drill: Without a federal policy providing paid leave for new moms after child birth, it largely falls to employers to provide this important work-life benefit. There are ample studies and statistics supporting the family benefits of paid maternity leave, including improved long-term health, education and development outcomes for the child. But there are business benefits to providing paid parental leave, as well – not the least of them being the recruiting, retention and employer brand boost that companies gain from promoting paid leave. Another benefit from the employer’s perspective is that new moms with access to paid parental leave are more likely to return to their pre-birth employer within a year than those without maternity leave.
- Leadership Training Establishes a Culture of Permission
The availability of programs like paid maternity leave and flexible work arrangements is an important first step. However, if employees don’t feel empowered to utilize these supports, their work-life integration will suffer for it. Time and again, we’ve heard employees are still reluctant to take the time available to them out of fear that they’ll appear less committed to their jobs. For an organization to truly be a great place for working parents and other caregivers to work, it’s vital that managers and leaders are supporting decisions to take time off to fulfill family responsibilities – be it a new dad taking paternity leave or an adult daughter working from home for a day to take her dad to a mid-morning doctor’s appointment. From the organization’s perspective, it’s equally important to hold these employees accountable for their deadlines and deliverables.
Related: 20 Questions Working Parents are Afraid to Ask at Work
- Backup Combats Stress and Productivity Loss
A recent survey of Care.com members found that 64 percent of working parents worry about their kids every minute of the day. And you can bet that a similar percentage of Sandwich Generation employees think about their aging loved ones equally as often. And there’s nothing more stressful than worrying about who’s caring for a loved one. Whether it’s finding a last-minute replacement when your nanny cancels or finding an experienced adult caregiver who can sit with mom for the afternoon, employers have found helping working parents find child care solutions removes a layer of friction from their lives, keeping them less stressed and more present, productive and engaged.
Work-life benefits like these are more than feel-good perks companies offer because they want to appear progressive. There is a definitive advantage for organizations who offer employee benefits and programs designed to support the modern workforce.
A recent survey commissioned by Care.com Workplace Solutions found that 90 percent of employees have left work due to family responsibilities and more than 40 percent say the lack of family care benefits impacts their job performance. Meanwhile, care-related productivity loss costs American businesses tens of billions annually. Work-life benefits are no longer nice-to-haves, they’re need-to-have.
- For Working Moms, What's After Maternity Leave?
- 15 Companies with Work-Life Benefits Employees Dream About
- The Best Companies for New Dads Treat Dads Like Moms
- Great Companies for Working Parents
- What is Backup Care?