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How Employers Can Recruit (and Retain) Working Mothers

How Employers Can Recruit (and Retain) Working Mothers

Rachael Ellison | MonsterThinking

3. Flexibility Means Redefining Our Concept of Work.

There are many kinds of flexible work arrangements (job shares, telecommuting, etc.), and not all of them will work for every company or every employee. At the heart of the concept of flexibility, though, is the notion that work can be re-imagined. Work should be about producing results and accomplishing goals, not about logging hours at a desk or showing up at a specific hour.

The evidence is overwhelming that employees will work harder and more efficiently when they feel they have control over their own time (the embedded video from Life Meets Work is definitely worth watching). When a parent needs to pick up her child at day care and still deliver a report by the morning, a flexible atmosphere can allow her to satisfy all her obligations—on her own time, using her own best judgment. If we measure commitment by who stays at the office the latest, parents will always fall behind.

4. Parents do have unique needs. Don’t Let That Stand In The Way of Retaining Talent.

We should fully acknowledge that many of these accommodations—such as generous paid leave programs or child-care support—are time-consuming and expensive. These vital conversations can also be difficult ones. Still, the long-term benefits are clear: the return on your investment will be loyalty and productivity from a motivated and capable talent pool.

Countless respected institutions, including the Families and Work Institute and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, have demonstrated that offering these kinds of programs and developing these sensitivities is a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Companies that excel in these areas see great benefits in retention, recruitment, efficiency, and innovation. In short, addressing these challenges is more than worth the effort.

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March 8, 2011 marks the global centenary of International Women’s Day, a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. MonsterThinking will be recognizing IWD’s 100th anniversary celebration by looking at the issues, and ideas, confronting women in the workforce.

About the Author:
Rachael Ellison, MA is a coach and organizational development consultant. She helps people and organizations find creativity and productivity and guides them toward getting the right mixture of both. She completed her advanced degree in Social and Organizational Psychology and Conflict Resolution at Columbia University. She gained invaluable training and experience in organizational change management, group dynamics, social intelligence, appreciative inquiry, executive and personal coaching. When she’s not coaching, consulting or mediating, she’s working with her two favorite people-her husband and daughter-on living a happy family life. Check out Rachel’s site to see how coaching could benefit you. Read the Reworking Parents blog for reflections, tips and tricks for achieving the best fit for your work and life.