Work-Family Programs

Category: Informative

In modern America, there are a lot of working programs. A work-family program is one of them. Its main target is to make employees feel comfortable and allow them to establish strong family ties. Employers should be interested in having emotionally positive and stable employees who do not have any problems outside work and who feel comfortable in their workplace. This essay will deal with such questions as work-family programs and working environment. On the example of one company, we will try to describe the type of a work-family program. Also, we will identify and address the advantages and disadvantages of such programs for both employers and their team.

First of all, it is necessary to mention that the majority of work-family programs can be found in the United States of America. For example, UAW (United Auto Workers) with General Motors implement such programs with the intention of helping employers to find a balance between their working responsibilities and family life, and, as a result, to encourage them to produce better results in the workplace. In addition, such companies as UAW that use such programs have the target to develop warm and friendly relationships in their team.

Nowadays, companies show that they value and highly appreciate their employees' work and regard them not only as a labor force, but as people who have personal life. Family benefits in such companies as, for example, General Motors, are exceptionally developed. Childcare, education, and adult care bring new possibilities for employees. "The company has an exceptionally generous leave for childbirth, giving mothers and fathers up to three years of guaranteed time off" (Allyn & Bacon, 2002). Nevertheless, family-friendly companies are rather rare even in the United States. Besides UAW and GM, family-oriented programs are developed in IBM that firstly used the initiative "ABC" for childcare.

Furthermore, talking about work-family programs more critically, it is necessary to note that there are many positive and negative points. Depending on the flexibility of working hours, specifics of work and responsibilities, child and family care, family-oriented work programs have different benefits. Family-friendly companies are rather rare even in the United States, although the media have popularized them to unbelievable rates. Nevertheless, "a substantial fraction of employers provide programs at the cheaper end of the spectrum (for example, workshops), and a large fraction offer flexible hours" (Osterman, 1995). With all additional benefits, which include strong health care programs, there are also benefits for the employer. While providing workers with the possibility to care better for their friends and family, the employer increases motivation of employees and teamwork in order to meet business targets of a company. The environment in the workplace becomes comfortable for an individual where they are able to realize all their potential.

On the other hand, there are some disadvantages of such programs. For example, a company can lose one of the best workers for some period of time according to the childcare program that allows maternity or paternity leave. Moreover, the procedure of the implementation of one or another work-family program can be complicated and not every company can accomplish it. Nevertheless, every year the number of such companies is increasing.

To sum up, it is possible to state that work-family programs provide many benefits for both workers and employers. The friendly environment and a strong healthcare system increase productivity of a company. However, not many companies can provide such programs because of the complicated procedure.

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