It’s always important to celebrate special occasions at your business, and with the difficult times we’re going through as a nation, finding moments to be with family and celebrate is more important than ever. Thankfully, this weekend is Father's Day, and it’s the perfect occasion to both support your employees who are dads and create positive change at your business. According to a recent study, 73% percent of working dads in the U.S. say there is little support for fathers in their workplace. As families continue to share more responsibilities, men’s priorities are changing, and businesses should too. Here are some ways to build a father-friendly work environment at your business.
1. Encourage Conversations
When working fathers need advice, it is not uncommon to see them talk to their coworkers. Your business can facilitate these important conversations by fostering connections between new and experienced fathers. Consider how existing infrastructure could be used as a platform for these exchanges, such as Slack, Workplace, Facebook, or even something simple like a text chat group or an employee bulletin board with a section dedicated to fathers for sharing photos of them with their kids.
2. Lead by Example
No program or policy will ever be as effective as inspiration. Leaders who display photos of their children and openly talk about the challenges and joys of being a parent effectively demonstrate that they care for their family and foster a family-friendly workplace. So, lead by example at your business to show you care about working fathers. If you’re not a father yourself, encourage one of your male managers or senior employees to share their experiences as a father and frequently check in on other employees who are fathers.
3. Be Considerate of Work Schedules and Outside Activities
It’s difficult for working parents to join the rest of the team for after-work drinks or last-minute get-togethers. When planning events or meetings, even impromptu ones, consider scheduling them towards the beginning or middle of the day, or at least varying the days and times. Doing so will be more inclusive to everyone, including both working moms who are traditionally excluded from outside activities, and fathers, who face many of the same challenges. Showing commitment to work-life balance can be a powerful tool in boosting employee loyalty and reducing turnover.
4. Implement Flexible Working Policies
If possible, consider offering the option for employees to work remotely to accommodate their schedule as a parent. While some tasks have to be done on-premise at your business, there are likely many tasks that can be done efficiently at home, particularly with modern technology. If working remotely isn't feasible at your business, you can also consider shorter workweeks or part-time options for parents. The willingness to adapt to their needs shows support in achieving the balance working fathers need.
5. Celebrate Father’s Day
This might seem obvious, but taking the effort to recognize and celebrate Father’s Day is an important step in developing a positive work culture that will ensure your employees feel happy, respected, and acknowledged. Treat your working fathers for lunch, organize a communal potluck, gift them movie tickets, or give them the day off.
As more and more businesses learn the benefits of supporting men as equal caregivers at home, more progress can be made towards creating both equitable workplaces and homes within our local communities.