Read more for a detailed overview report of our recent Bright Horizons Webinar, all about the top five ways to support and retain working parents and carers in 2023. You can watch on demand here.
It's no surprise that Bright Horizons 2022 Work+Family Snapshot survey of client employees shows a leaning towards ‘family first' following the pandemic, with just over half of its respondents placing a higher priority on this within the last 12 months. This was particularly keenly felt amongst the 18-34 generation, who at the same time also highlight career as more of a focus of ambition than before. This article shares the key findings of a Bright Horizons HR webinar held in early October 2022 with its panel of experts: Lavinia Groves, Citi, Director, Global Head of Compliance Regulatory Engagement Standards and Co-Chair of Citi London Families Matter Network, Leah Gray, UK Reward and Benefits Manager, Marsh McLennan and Jared Hindle, People & Communities (HR) representative, Cisco.
It's a mindset that is mirrored at Citi. Groves explains that it's about leadership support and visible buy-in. Citi also places emphasis on flexible working patterns, “Hybrid working arrangements are no longer the exception, they are more the expectation.” Hindle says that Cisco has established a ‘conscious culture' in which hybrid and remote are normal and people are aware of each other's needs…
As one aspect of family finances, childcare and eldercare concerns are top of many people's minds when they are looking for a new job according to Bright Horizons' Modern Families Index 2022. “It was also really striking in the survey that this concern was highest for younger workers, with 93% of those in the 18-34 bracket with caring responsibilities saying they would be concerned about adult or eldercare arrangements before accepting a new job or promotion.” As Liston-Smith says this dispels any assumptions about which generations are more focused upon these issues.
The Bright Horizons Work+Family Snapshot shows that 79% are more committed to their employer when Back up Care (BUC) (for when plans change), is in place. Still more striking is that BUC boosts productivity with 78% saying it enhances their output because it enables them to work when they otherwise could not.
Gray says that Marsh McLennan has realised that Back-up Care allows employees to save money, for example during the school holidays reducing the financial pressures for holiday clubs. Liston-Smith explains that workplace nurseries bring tax and NI exemptions. She says, “The employer can either fully sponsor the care or do a co-pay arrangement with the employees.” Groves says Citi provides Back-Up Care too, explaining that it's also crucial that employees are made aware of what choices they have, such as Back-Up Care covering eldercare as well as children.
Cisco's London onsite nursery is run by Bright Horizons and has meant that many parents don't have the inconvenience of driving to two locations but also that they benefit from exemplary childcare. The value of such provision is further highlighted in McKinsey's: ‘The Childcare Conundrum, 2022' in which about 40% said that on-site childcare services may make them reconsider moving to another employer and stay loyal.
Marsh McLennan offers group coaching pre- and post-leave and a dads/partners' session. Gray says, “It's important to help people with planning their professional and family lives, among peers from the same work culture.” Cisco's Hindle adds that it's important that leaders make themselves available to have the right conversations when they are needed.
Marsh McLennan is one such employer that offers this service to its working families. Gray says the tutoring, as well as educational support, also provides another important hour's childcare. It's a further creative approach that is being welcomed and highlights them as a family friendly employer. Cisco is also demonstrating just how far it is listening to its working parents and understanding the ambitions they have for their children. Hindle says, “We do a lot of half term work experience.” This is a hybrid model with days in the office and online.