Modern workplace provides an employee with many opportunities to work efficiently. Information technologies facilitate work process greatly, in most cases. However, one issue cannot be resolved in a simple manner. Finding a balance between work and family is one of the most important tasks for a modern employee. Thus, a recent research on employee satisfaction at the Mid-American Widgets Corporation revealed that employees are struggling to manage their work and family commitments, which reduces employee satisfaction and company morale. There is a need to develop such a work-family program that would help employees to balance work and family, while also improving company’s productivity and customer service.
First, it is necessary to evaluate the current policies of the company. The company does not have any particular policies to help employees to solve several problems. Work hours are inconvenient, as workday ends later, so employees do not have enough time with their families. Day offs are not welcomed, so there is no possibility to solve family-related issues in urgent manner. The employees who have issues with children care while at work have substantial difficulties in finding time to work and spend time with children (Kornbluh, Isaacs, & Waters, 2004).
The company has certain resources to create and fund work-family programs. It has space in one of the facilities that has no special purpose and is used as storage for various things. This room is not used in day-to-day manner and things stored in it can be removed easily to another, substantially smaller room. The cost of making this room into some kind of children care room is minimal. In addition, work hours can be shifted for two hours back without damaging the technological processes of the company – it is necessary to provide company’s partners with new schedule. These changes would not require extensive funding and can be performed using a relatively small part of the reserve fund.
Considering the situation, the work-family program for the Mid-American Widgets Corporation would adress several important issues. It is necessary to create new working schedule by changing start and end hours of the workday. To continue, it is also necessary to create a special program of days off – every employee can have a certain number of days per month that can be used for his/her personal needs. Further, there is a space that should be used as a children-care room for the parents who have issues with organizing children care outside the workplace (Kornbluh, Isaacs, & Waters, 2004).
Such program can be implemented within one month. Management should provide employees with extensive information regarding the new work-family program via mandatory meeting. Each department manager should create a list of employees who require a place in the children-care room and have urgent need to solve their family-related issues during one day. Special schedule of possible days off must be created for the employees and management tobe aware of the opportunities they have (Osterman, 1995). Reports on the efficiency of the program must be provided by each department manager after the first month. These must include the evaluation of efficiency of the employees, number of days used for family-related issues, and the overall efficiency of the program.
These reports should be created using both monitoring of the company’s efficiency rates and weekly employees’ satisfaction surveys. The program should be applied to a small group of employees first: the group should consist of two equal parts – the most efficient, successful employees with families should constitute the first part, and the least efficient employees with family issues should be in the second part of this group. Such a pilot testing will help to evaluate the overall efficiency of such work-family program, since the employees outside this pilot group will work as usual and have no benefits, and access influence on the employees’ efficiency.
In the case of the Mid-American Widgets Corporation, an evaluation of the work-family program is needed. It is necessary to investigate the efficiency of the employees who participated in the pilot testing of the program, considering the outcomes of both highly efficient and less efficient parts of the test group. In addition, it is important to conduct company-based survey that would consider the following issues: the increase/decrease of employees’ satisfaction; the amount of time spent with family; the self-evaluation of employees from within pilot test group and from those who were outside the group; and overall necessity of such a program furthering the future (Osterman, 1995).
Such evaluation would provide the executive managers with understanding of the current situation. It is possible that the program will require changes in terms of work schedule and the number of possible days off. Additionally, the program provides childcare for some period, so it is only temporary measure for the employees who cannot organize childcare outside the company’s program (USAID, 2010). Therefore, the executives will have the opportunity to clarify the necessity of creating stationary “kinder garden” for additional fee.
The satisfaction surveys should be implemented on the monthly basis to determine the correlation between efficiency and employees’ satisfaction. Employees should have the opportunity to enter and exit the program without any disciplinary sanctions. However, only the most diligent and efficient employees will have the privilege to enter the program first in order to encourage competition within the company. The outcomes of the program should be re-evaluated each three months. Efficiency of the program must be evaluated considering the efficiency of all employees.