As Florida businesses big and small look to increase their competitive advantage in 2021, a new survey finds that adopting family-friendly policies is the surest way to attract and retain top talent and more diverse employees.
That’s the major revelation in a new survey by The Children’s Movement of Florida and Sachs Media. The 2020 Working Parent Survey provides valuable insights into what Florida businesses can do to attract top talent and build employee loyalty in today’s competitive marketplace.
The survey found working parents, who make up 80% of the U.S. workforce, cited paid time off, flexibility, insurance, and child care stipends as the benefits that increased their feelings of loyalty to their employer. Working parents also reported that flexibility, paid time off, backup child care assistance, and on-site child care were the workplace benefits that most influenced their productivity on the job.
Increasing employee loyalty and productivity with family-friendly policies results in cost savings for employers, decreases turnover, and strengthens the economy. Turnover is estimated to cost employers about 20% of an employee’s salary for 9 in 10 U.S. workers, according to The Center for American Progress. Respondents shared that when employers don’t support them in taking care of their families, those employees leave to find employers who will. Thirty-one percent of survey respondents noted that they had either quit or taken a leave of absence to care for their children when they encountered issues with child care.
Child care may also be the key to attracting a more diverse workforce since the survey showed that child care issues have disproportionately impacted Black and Hispanic parents’ ability to work, as well as mothers’ ability to work. Meeting the needs of these working parents could provide businesses with the edge they need to make it through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s important because diverse and inclusive cultures provide companies with a competitive edge over their peers.
Finally, the survey found that COVID-19 has amplified the challenges of child care and employment alike for working parents–and has done so consistently among employee types. Prior to the pandemic, 44% of respondents say child care had caused at least one productivity-related issue at work, including leaving early (32%), being late (24%), being absent (21%), being less productive (9%), or being less reliable (8%).
In the past six months, however, the number of parents who experienced at least one of the following issues jumped to 65%, including leaving early (48%), being late (38%), being absent (33%), being less productive at work (32%), and being less reliable (21%). Consistent with the survey’s key findings, these impacts are felt by greater portions of mothers, lower-income parents, and parents who work part-time, meaning that those who are already struggling as working parents are struggling more during the pandemic.
“Now more than ever, as Florida’s businesses face down the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is imperative that we look to ways we can support our employees. The Florida Chamber Foundation’s Business Alliance for Early Learning champions recognize the importance of parent and family support in today’s workplaces. What we invest in our employees, they will amplify and return in productivity and loyalty,” said Mark Wilson, President and CEO of The Florida Chamber of Commerce.
“As COVID has plainly shown, it’s impossible to separate workers from the needs of their families,” said Sachs Media President Michelle Ubben. “Smart companies will adopt family friendly policies that accommodate those needs and reap the benefits in productivity, employee loyalty and greater diversity.”
The Movement’s president, Madeleine Thakur, said, “we launched our Bosses for Babies initiative last year knowing that employers have a role to play in getting all children off to a strong start in Florida. Now we know that family-friendly policies and practices not only help parents be their best, but also help Florida businesses attract and retain a strong, diverse workforce.”
On Tuesday, February 16, from 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m., you can learn how business leaders can put this information into action in a special webinar. Join Madeleine Thakur, as she speaks with the architect of the survey, Karen Cyphers, partner & vice president of Research & Policy at Sachs Media, and Amy Ruth, Senior Vice President, Human Services Group and Chief Human Resource Officer at Florida Blue, about the findings and their implications for Florida businesses. This webinar is part of Bosses for Babies Live, a series hosted by The Children’s Movement of Florida’s to help Florida business leaders make an impact for children. Mark Wilson, Michelle Ubben, and Florida Blue President and CEO Pat Gerharty are all Bosses for Babies.
Click here to access the full survey results.
About The Children’s Movement of Florida: The Children’s Movement of Florida is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan movement of Floridians insisting on a strong start for all Florida children. We advocate for high-quality early learning opportunities, access to children’s health care, and parent support programs in Florida. The Movement was founded in 2010 by former Miami Herald publisher and nationally known early childhood leader, David Lawrence Jr., who now serves as board chair. Visit www.childrensmovementflorida.org to learn more.
About Sachs Media: Founded in 1996, Sachs Media is a Florida-based public relations firm that provides public relations, public affairs, crisis communications, research, graphic and website design, branding, social media, video production, and digital marketing services. Sachs Media was recently named one of America’s Best PR Agencies, by Forbes Magazine, and PR Firm of the Year by PRNews. The agency has offices in Tallahassee, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, and Washington D.C., and is powered by affiliations with the prestigious PR Council and the Worldcom Public Relations Group. Learn more at www.sachsmedia.com.
About Bosses for Babies: The Children’s Movement of Florida’s Bosses for Babies initiative is a coalition of Florida business leaders who are champions for early childhood. These bosses have a range of ways they can make an impact for children, from offering family friendly policies in their company to advocating for early learning, to supporting local child care centers, Bosses can choose the commitment that works for their business. Learn more and sign up at www.bossesforbabies.com.