A local Small-Medium Enterprise (SME) with 12 employees, Firefly Photography Pte Ltd makes their studio child-friendly and allows employees to bring their children to the workplace. PacificLight Power, a power generator and electricity retailer, organizes various corporate social responsibility outreach activities every year that inculcate a heart for the community while simultaneously offering families opportunities to spend time together.

According to Qualtric’s latest Global Employee Pulse report, 71% of Singaporean respondents who were content with their work-life balance reported that they will remain at their jobs, while 81% of those who were dissatisfied shared that they would leave. Evidently, an optimal work-life balance is highly valued amongst Singaporeans.

In 2017, Families for Life (FFL) Council first introduced My Family Weekend (MFW) as an opportunity for employers to pledge their support for pro-family workplaces. While it is encouraging to see more employers taking on an active stance to improve work-life balance, it is important that employers continue to support this upward trend. Employers could do your part by pledging support for My Family Weekend 2019 adopt family-friendly initiatives on Fri, 6 Sep (Teacher’s Day).

Whether your company is an MNC, SME or a start-up, here’s a general framework HR leaders can expound upon to promote a more family-friendly workplace.

1. Communication is Key

Channels for open conversations are important as employees are able to share their problems and family needs with their supervisors and a solution can be worked out together. Often, the reach of family-friendly initiatives are limited by their lack of communication to employees. HR leaders should always encourage open communication and publicise available policies to employees.

2. Cultivate a Family-Friendly Culture

Family-friendly policies cannot reach their full potential without a culture of acceptance and adaptability within the company. As such, HR leaders need to focus on cultivating an environment to ensure that existing resources are being tapped onto by employees guilt-free to maximise their effectiveness.

While encouraging employee participation in family-friendly initiatives, managers should also consider its impact on relevant stakeholders beyond the employee (i.e. their colleagues). It is also important to be flexible in such discussions in order to find the best solution for all.

For example, management can propose a lighter, more transitive workload to employees who are requesting for extended leave, such as a 2-3 day work-from-home workload to avoid creating unnecessary stress for the employee (when they eventually return to a full workload) or their team (during the employee’s absence).

The possibilities to cultivate a pro-family workplace are endless – if you would like to find out how companies in Singapore are promoting family-friendly policies at their workplaces, click here.

3. Explore the resources available

Companies should definitely check their eligibility and explore the pool of available schemes and grants that promotes work-life balance. The Work-Life Grant for example, is a recently-enhanced government initiative that supports a company’s adoption and implementation of flexible work arrangements.

Other useful resources related to defraying the costs of implementing work-life strategies at the workplace include the Work-Life Works! Fund, Flexi-Works! Fund and more.

For companies looking for a platform to begin organising a Company Family Day, Families for Life Council is organising the My Family Weekend Picnic with Movie Screening on Sat, 7 Sep. Families can also look forward to an array of exciting family events taking place over the weekend – visit bit.ly/MFW2019 for more information.