Could Childcare Be The Key To Unlocking A Happy Modern Workforce?
In recent years, largely male-dominated workforces meant that childcare needn’t even be a consideration. After all, the kids stayed at home with their mums! Now, however, the tides of change in parental roles and priorities mean that modern workforces are guaranteed to perform better if kids are taken into account within their benefits packages. Still, just 6% of US companies offer comprehensive childcare benefits.
This is set to become an issue as skills shortages, specifically in IT, mean that high-level professionals are better able than ever to cherry-pick their positions. Companies that continue to fall behind in this pressing need are guaranteed to find themselves in trouble far sooner than you might expect.
As such, whether you offer childcare payment bonuses or finally get around to poured rubber playground surface repairs for that employee playground that hasn’t seen use in around ten years, you need to have some semblance of a childcare plan moving forward. And, here’s why.
# 1 – Fathers are coming to the fore
Modern fathers haven’t grown up believing that parenting is ‘woman’s work,’ hence why so many dads now campaign for shared or equal parental leave, and hence why there are around 7 million stay-at-home dads in the US alone. Even for the men who continue to work, the ability to juggle balance work/life and take an active part in the childcare journey is now non-negotiable. As such, employers can’t assume that male workforces will keep things afloat if childcare becomes an issue. Rather, the ability to keep kids safe, happy, and close-to-hand impacts every single parent in your workforce, and should thus be as high a priority as paid holiday leave, etc.
# 2 – The mid-career mother
Traditionally, women who had children a lot younger were often at the start of their careers, and thus more expendable if they had to give up work due to childcare struggles. Now, however, women are typically opting to have children later in life, often past the thirty mark. This means that employers stand to lose their top talent and senior employees if they don’t offer childcare benefits that take the pressure off, and compete with the offerings provided by any potential competitors.
# 3 – Millennials are planners
Millennials now account for around 50% of the global workforce and, while many of these individuals don’t yet have children of their own, millennials do typically think to the future when considering potential careers. Most notably in this sense, more than half of the millennials interviewed in a Bright Horizons Survey reported that they consider future factors, including childcare, before accepting any job role. With this in mind, any employer looking to secure the best modern talent on the market can’t skip this benefit.
Unfortunately, childcare hasn’t been a priority for many employers thus far but, as the expectations of the modern workforce change, the prevalence of child care inevitably will too. To enjoy continued top talent and increased productivity, you thus need to make sure you’re ready to put competitive childcare plans in place as soon as yesterday.