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Understanding Family-Friendly Employee Benefits Programs IPRA/IAPD Annual Conference January 30, 2010 Hilton Chicago Chicago, Illinois Presented by: Michael.

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Presentation on theme: "Understanding Family-Friendly Employee Benefits Programs IPRA/IAPD Annual Conference January 30, 2010 Hilton Chicago Chicago, Illinois Presented by: Michael."— Presentation transcript:

1 Understanding Family-Friendly Employee Benefits Programs IPRA/IAPD Annual Conference January 30, 2010 Hilton Chicago Chicago, Illinois Presented by: Michael Mulvaney, Ph.D., CPRP Eastern Illinois University Dept. of Recreation Administration Phone: 217-581-6589 Email:

2 2 Session Overview Overview of Family-Friendly Employee Benefits Statewide study of Family-Friendly Employee Benefits Implementing Family-Friendly Employee Benefits Challenges w/implementation of Family-Friendly Employee Benefits Wrap-up/Questions-Answers

3 3 Today’s Workplace Changes in family structure causing a demographic shift in today’s workforce –Dual-career couples –Workers w/eldercare responsibility –Single-parent families –Working mothers/fathers w/young children Change in family structure = increased work-family conflicts Issues of job productivity & performance –Job satisfaction? –Employee turnover? –Reductions in productivity? –Increases in employee stress levels? Family-friendly employee benefits programs (FFEB) are becoming more readily available to address these changes in the workplace

4 Today’s Workplace: An Example A workplace needs assessment found that +33% of parents w/children had a sick child in the last month; 51% missed work to care for the child. Of staff w/children under 12 yrs of age, 25% experienced childcare breakdowns 2-5 times in a 3-month period. These breakdowns were linked to higher absenteeism/tardiness, lower concentration on the job, and less marital and parental satisfaction

5 5 Another Emerging Issue… Current fiscal crisis facing agencies Tightening/shrinking budgets Much like in the recession of the early 1990s, employers again are struggling to provide interesting and meaningful work for employees who will not be receiving promotions Family-friendly employee benefits programs can serve as an alternative employee motivator when budgets are unable to support employee pay raises Family-friendly employee benefits programs can serve as a tool to enhance quality of life among agency staff –Subscribing to this approach/view, one might argue that the field of public parks and recreation should be a “front runner” in the promotion (& enhancement) of family-friendly work environments for their professionals.

6 6 Family-Friendly Employee Benefits (FFEB) FFEBP are those benefits that go beyond the policies required by the Family & Medical Leave Act of (FMLA) General tenets of FMLA: –Impacts agencies w/50 or more employees –Up to 12 weeks (unpaid) leave for one of the following family-related events: birth or placement for adoption or foster care of a child care of a seriously ill child, spouse or parent, or; an employee's serious illness preventing the employee from performing the functions of his or her job (McDermott & Katz, 1993).

7 7 Four Categories of FFEB Flexible Work Arrangements: Job sharing Flextime Compressed workweek Telecommuting Dependent Care Supports: On-site childcare After school/holiday programs Eldercare information or referral Childcare discounts/vouchers Leaves & Time Off: Family & medical leave Personal leave of absence Sabbatical Leave bank/leave sharing Work-Family Stress Mgmt: Employee assistance programs Health promotion Work-family resource center Support groups Courses on life balancing

8 8 FFEB: Flexible Work Arrangements Job Sharing: two or more employees sharing the duties of one full-time job Flextime: employees exercise a decision regarding the time of day they will arrive at and leave from work Compressed Workweek: the workweek is compressed into fewer than 5 days by increasing the number of hours an employee is required to work per day (i.e., 4-day, 40 hour workweek) Telecommuting: working from home rather than traveling back and forth to the workplace

9 9 Research on Flexible Work Arrangements FFEB Several benefits associated with flextime FFEB have been found: –Employees display more efficient use of their time at work –Decreased stress = reduced absenteeism –Increased autonomy = higher job satisfaction & reduced absenteeism –Higher performance? Several findings associated with compressed workweek FFEB have been found: –Decreased absenteeism –Increased autonomy = higher job satisfaction & reduced absenteeism –Increased stress = lower job performance?

10 10 FFEB: Dependent Care Supports On-site Childcare: childcare services located at or near the worksite; oftentimes employers support the program by covering start-up costs, operating expenses, and/or subsidies for tuition. School-age Programs: after school or holiday programs developed and made available to an employee’s family Eldercare Information: elder care programs, policies, and initiatives to assist employees who are currently, or who will be caregivers with family and work/life demands (i.e., resources relating to independent living, housing options, financial and medical considerations, nursing homes, home health care agencies, etc.) Childcare Discounts: vouchers or discounts for childcare that are made available (or provided) by the employer

11 11 Research on Dependent Care Supports FFEB Agencies providing FFEB have witnessed increases in staff availability w/ the addition of Dependent Care Supports FFEB: –One private company determined that it saved $45,000 over and above the cost of a dependent care FFEB program within the first nine months of operation (Johnson, 2005). –A 38-person CPA firm estimated that by providing on-site childcare, the firm netted +$25,000 (annual income) through increased staff availability (Baltes, et al., 1999). –Work/Family Directions, a consulting firm calculates that Dependent Care Supports FFEB, on average, save employees 15-17 hours annually. Other findings: –Childcare benefits have NOT been found to influence (positively or negatively) employee work withdrawal (Wang & Walumbwa, 2007).

12 12 FFEB: Leaves & Time Off Family & Medical Leave: leave provided by the employer beyond that required by the Family & Medical Leave Act Personal Leave of Absence: any time off that is granted to the employee for reasons including, specialized experiences, family issues, extenuating personal needs, etc. Sabbatical: time off (paid or unpaid) that is granted to the employee to enhance their professional development Leave Bank/Leave Sharing: leave bank pool established through donations of annual leave from other employees; provides some income protection to employees who need to be absent from work for a prolonged period of time, but who have inadequate paid time-off accumulated (annual leave, sick leave, compensatory time or accrued holiday time) to cover the absences.

13 13 Research on Leaves & Time Off FFEB A recent survey found that 15% of large employers offered paid sabbaticals (Bradford, 2001). 50% of the companies listed in Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work for in America provided sabbaticals or similar leave programs. Leaves & Time Off FFEBP have been found to produce the following results: –Agencies preserve their investment in human capital –Establishes “good faith” relationship among employee(s) and the agency –Improved monitoring of business ethics –Increases in employee commitment to the agency –Employees returning to work following leave have been found to display increased levels of knowledge & creativity (Dyer, 2009) –Employee(s) develop stronger sense of pride in agency and community –Some paid leave programs can be costly for the agency –Risk of employee(s) not returning after extended leave

14 14 FFEB: Work-Family Stress Management Employee Assistance Programs: free, voluntary, short-term counseling and referral for various issues affecting employee mental and emotional well-being (i.e., alcohol/substance abuse, stress, grief, family problems, psychological disorders, etc.) Health Promotion Programs: programs/services provided to employees to increase health awareness and/or change behavior(s) (i.e., programs/services to increase knowledge of chronic disease risk factors, creation of opportunities for physical activity and healthy eating at work, general awareness education, life skills services, free smoking cessation services, safety programs, etc.) Work-Family Resource Center: employee assistance/counseling programs designed to provide employees and their family members with resources for resolving work related and personal problems Courses on Life Balancing: programs provided by employers to educate employees on how to balance their time/energy between work and other aspects of their lives; can be in the form of classes, policies, procedures, organizational culture, expectations, etc.

15 15 Research on Work-Family Stress Management FFEB Work by the National Association of Health & Fitness identified the following employee & agency benefits associated with worksite health & wellness programs: –Agency benefits: Enhanced employee productivity Improved health care costs management Decreased rates of illness and injuries Reduced employee absenteeism Improvement of employee leadership skills –Employee benefits: Lower levels of stress Increased well-being, self-image & self-esteem Improved physical fitness Increased stamina Potential weight reduction

16 Discussion… Divide into groups of 3-4. Think about your agency. –What FFEB does your agency provide its employees? –What FFEB do you feel would be most difficult to implement within your agency? Why?

17 17 Results from a Statewide Study of FFEB of Illinois Park and Recreation Agencies

18 18 Statewide Study: Procedures Study sought to identify the current state of FFEB programs in public park and recreation agencies within Illinois Participants for the study were obtained from the 2009 IPRA contact list (1,822 professionals) Each professional was emailed an invitation to complete an online survey –Availability of 16 FFEB –Use of 16 FFEB –Job attitudes –Demographic characteristics Data collection: July – August 2009 25% response rate (n=456) producing a precision of at least +/- 5% (i.e., the true population value is within +/- 5% of the sample value)

19 19 Sample Characteristics: Household VariableSample Value Household Employment Status Single, one income24.5% Married/Couple, one income6.1% Married/Couple, dual incomes68.0% Other1.5% VariableSample Value Gender Male36.6% Female57.7% Household Status Single, no children17.9% Single, with children8.5% Married/Couple, no children17.4% Married/Couple, w/children56.3% Total Household Income Up to $34,9994.9% $35,000 to $74,99924.9% $75,000 to $99,99926.7% $100,000 to $149,99928.4% $150,000 to $199,99912.1% $200,000 or more3.0%

20 20 Sample Characteristics: Professional VariableSample Value Professional Certification(s) AFO9.6% Coaching Certification(s)12.3% CPRP37.7% CTRS5.0% PT Certification(s)2.6% Playground Safety Certification(s)5.0% Turf Certification(s)2.0% Years Worked w/Agency10.9 yrs (avg.) VariableSample Value Job Position Entry Level (0-5 yrs exp.)11.7% Mid Level (5-10 yrs exp.)33.2% Upper Level (+10 yrs exp.)35.6% Executive Level (+10 yrs exp.)19.5% Agency Description Conservation District0.5% Forrest Preserve District1.7% Municipality10.1% Not-for-Profit0.3% Park District76.1% SRA8.9% University0.2% Other1.7%

21 Presence of FFEB in Illinois Park & Recreation Agencies

22 22 Which of the following Flexible Work Arrangements FFEB does your agency provide its employees?

23 23 Which of the following Dependent Care Supports FFEB does your agency provide its employees?

24 24 Which of the following Leaves & Time Off FFEB does your agency provide its employees?

25 25 Which of the following Work-Family Stress Management FFEB does your agency provide its employees?

26 Professionals’ Use/Participation in FFEB within Illinois Park & Recreation Agencies

27 27 Which of the following Flexible Work Arrangements FFEB do you use?

28 28 Which of the following Dependent Care Supports FFEB do you use?

29 29 Which of the following Leaves & Time Off FFEB do you use?

30 30 Which of the following Work-Family Stress Management FFEB do you use?

31 31 General Summary of Statewide Study 71.1% of Illinois park & recreation professionals surveyed worked for agencies that provided at least one flexible work arrangement FFEB. –Within those agencies providing flexible work arrangements, 82% of professionals utilized a flexible work arrangement FFEB 51.8% of Illinois park & recreation professionals surveyed worked for agencies that provided at least one dependent care supports FFEB. –Within those agencies providing dependent care supports, 26% of professionals utilized a dependent care supports FFEB 66.4% of Illinois park & recreation professionals surveyed worked for agencies that provided at least one leaves & time off FFEB. –Within those agencies providing leaves & time off, 34% of professionals utilized a leaves & time off FFEB 82.7% of Illinois park & recreation professionals surveyed worked for agencies that provided at least one work-family stress management FFEB. –Within those agencies providing work-family stress management programs, 60% of professionals utilized a work-family stress management FFEB.

32 Discussion…Again Return to your groups. As a group, discuss your reaction(s) to the data. Do you think the data will influence your agency’s future practices? Why or why not.

33 Putting the Research into Action Developing a FFEB Program for Your Agency

34 34 Strategy #1: “One Size Does Not Fit All” What works for one agency, may (or may not) work for yours Agencies must focus on customizing the rationale (for the FFEB program) to the agency’s priorities TIP: Perform an audit of your agency’s culture & work environment to determine the appropriateness of a FFEB program.

35 35 Strategy #2: Stats Alone Won’t Work Statistics alone can not make the case for the FFEB program. Quantitative AND qualitative data needed. Agencies should answer the following questions: –What is the mission of the agency? What does that tell us about what we should be doing? –What are the guiding values within our agency? Based upon our values, where does a FFEB program fit in our agency? –How satisfied is your agency with the current workplace culture? Where do you want it to be? What role could a FFEB program play in changing/reshaping that culture?

36 36 Strategy #3: Avoid Unreasonable Proof Don’t place your FFEB program under an unreasonable burden of proof If skepticism persists even after the facts & costs have been identified/promoted, deeper issues may be occurring (i.e., fears, attitudes, values, etc.): –Common issue #1: Fear that addressing personal concerns will erode internal/external service –Common issue #2: Staff will take unfair advantage of these benefits

37 37 Strategy #4: Consider the Costs & Benefits When calculating the bottom-line benefits associated with work-family concerns, the agency must consider: –The costs of the problems left unattended –The benefits associated with any initiatives

38 38 Strategy #4: Consider the Costs & Benefits Quick Calculation (Quantitative Data): –A.) Number of FFEB users = ? –B.) Number of employees retained (.005 x number of users) = ? –C.) Average cost of turnover (.75 x average salary) = ? –D.) Dollar savings (# of employees retained x turnover cost) = ? –E.) How does the dollar savings compare to the resources invested into the FFEB program? Quick Calculation (Qualitative Data): –A.) Has the FFEB program improved moral? How or in what way? –B.) Has the FFEB program impacted quality efforts within the agency? –C.) Has the FFEB program impacted the agency’s public & community relations? How, or in what way? –D.) Has the FFEB program enhanced the agency’s personnel recruitment efforts?

39 39 Strategy #5: Training Managers’ attitudes and the general work environment have been shown to be even more important than specific policies in helping employees balance work with personal responsibilities. Prior to implementing a FFEB program, the agency must ensure managers are trained/educated on work-family issues and the FFEB program.

40 40 Strategy #6: Promoting Collective Action Research has repeatedly shown that when staff are involved in the development phase of projects, policies, programs, etc., they develop a stronger sense of ownership and acceptance. As a result, the agency should get staff involved in the development and coordination of the FFEB program. TIP: Develop committees for the various FFEB programs and place staff within each of these committees.

41 41 Strategy #7: Documentation Agencies must develop procedures and policies to manage the FFEB program. –Example: An agency establishes a flextime schedule that includes a band of core time where each employee must be present (i.e., 10am – 2pm). Employees are free to arrive before the core time and/or after the core time with certain restrictions (i.e., cannot start before 5am and cannot stay past 11pm). The agency has no daily hour requirement (i.e., 8 hr day), but employees must work at least 40 hours per week. TIP: Employee handbook(s) covering the FFEB program policies should be developed.

42 42 Strategy #8: Statement of Support For the FFEB program to be effective for the agency and staff, an open sign of support by the agency is needed. A common practice involves management developing a statement acknowledging the importance of family and personal life among staff and how the FFEB program can assist staff manage these issues.

43 Implementing a FFEB Program: Potential Challenges & Things to Consider

44 44 Challenge #1: Management Support Research has found that for the FFEB program to have the greatest impact, management support is required. Agencies must place a high priority on integrating the FFEB program into the workplace by training managers to be supportive. The overall agency culture must support FFEB program.

45 45 Challenge #2: Employee Type Studies have found that the effects of FFEB programs vary as a function of employee type: –Managers –Supervisors –Trades –Administrative support Some employees may already possess autonomy in their schedules, reducing the impact of a FFEB program.

46 46 Challenge #3: Flexibility of Flextime… The agency must ask: –How flexible do we want our flextime program? –Fewer daily core hours vs. More daily core hours? –Management approval required? In general, a more flexible flextime schedule for employees creates: –Higher job satisfaction –Reduced absenteeism –Improved job performance

47 47 Challenge #4: Long-Term vs. Short-Term Impact What is the short-term impact of our FFEB program? What is the long-term impact of our FFEB program? Some research has found the long-term impact of specific FFEB was not as positive as the short- term impact. Prior research has also found that extrinsic rewards may only have a temporary effect on employees. Agencies must develop strategies to ensure the ongoing (positive) impact of the FFEB program.

48 48 Challenge #5: Leadership Style Oftentimes, FFEB alone are not sufficient enough to affect employee work attitudes and behavior. The integration of a FFEB program with leadership that is caring, supportive, and empathetic is likely to be more effective enhancing employees’ work attitudes and job performance.

49 Discussion…Round III In your groups, identify 2 of the challenges that would be the most difficult/challenging to address within an agency. Identify how you would tackle these challenges. Challenges –1.) Need for management support –2.) Employee type –3.) Flexibility of flex scheduling –4.) Long-term vs. short-term impact –5.) Leadership style

50 50 Summary Increasing need & presence of Family-Friendly Employee Benefits in the U.S. workplace Studies have found links between various job attitudes & FFEB programs The most popular FFEB provided by Illinois park and recreation agencies are flextime, school-age programs, personal leave of absence, health promotion programs, & employee assistance programs. Careful planning and internal assessment is needed prior to implementation of a FFEB program

51 51 Questions? Thank you!!

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