Good communication benefits both employers and workers

Staff Writer
The Destin Log

More American families than ever before have two parents working, but recent studies show many employers haven’t adapted to this change in the workforce demographics. Working parents feel burnt out and unloved at work, making them less creative, less productive and more likely to quit because of work-related stress, according to the 2015 Bright Horizons Modern Family Index.

Employers can do their part to create a culture that supports working parents and reduces the risks of valuable employees quitting or experiencing burn out. Managers should watch for signs of employee burnout and provide opportunities for working parents to voice their concerns. The Modern Family Index, which surveyed working parents across the country and in different industries, found:

* Sixty-two percent of working parents don’t believe their employers care about them. They also say employers are inattentive to the needs of working parents (64 percent) and don’t have their best interests at heart (76 percent).

* Just 34 percent of managers are concerned working parents struggle to balance work and life demands, while just 30 percent worry about whether working parents feel their company doesn’t care about them.

* Although nearly all parents say they experience burnout, 70 percent don’t speak up about it. Meanwhile, 60 percent of managers say working parent burnout can be avoided. The same percentage of parents say their manager wouldn’t even realize when parents experience burnout.

* Seventy-nine percent of working parents and 77 percent of managers say to curb burnout, changes need to occur in the office, not at home. The first step is for parents to begin voicing their concerns.

“Many of the parents we surveyed expressed frustration with their employers and indicated they feel their companies don’t really understand or care about the stresses they face,” says David Lissy, chief executive officer of Bright Horizons, a provider of employer-sponsored child care and other work/life solutions. “All employers must consistently look for new ways to ensure the culture they are cultivating is one that resonates with and is valued by their employees. The labor market is tightening. Jobs are expected to outnumber workers by 5 million by 2020, and competition for top talent will continue to intensify.”

However, the survey indicates the blame does not fall squarely on employers. Both employers and parents need to do better to adapt to the new realities of modern families. “Good communication between employers and working parents will benefit both groups,” Lissy added.