There’s a skill shortage in the market place, and businesses are struggling to recruit. It’s not that the jobs aren’t there, it’s the skillset that isn’t, and yet it is if businesses think differently.
A recent article in People Management (23rd May), gives some real food for thought with this topic as it focuses on the difficulties that parents have in trying to juggle their working life and childcare.
A survey of 2,700 UK working parents by the Modern Families Index (conducted by the charity working Families with Bright Horizons) was referenced on the effect family-friendly policies have in the workforce.
Many parents find it impossible to work full time hours and therefore opt for the part time option. However, 34% said that they regularly put in extra hours above their part time contract, and a third of those stated that they were working enough hours to be considered full time, but on a part time salary.
40% of full time working parents said they regularly worked extra hours, with a third of those putting in the equivalent of an extra working day.
81% of the parents surveyed who work flexibly say they still have to work at home in the evenings or at weekends to keep pace with their unrealistic workloads.
This affects mums more than dads, but dads too are frequently putting in extra hours just to keep up with the workload.
If businesses aren’t giving real consideration to flexibility in the workplace, the skills shortage will cause them even more problems. This isn’t about putting policies in place, it’s about having a supportive culture and being open minded to the different ways and working hours of their current and potential staff.
A poor work-life balance lowers morale. A third of the fathers surveyed said they resented their employer. Millennial fathers felt particularly affected by this, with 46% agreeing. The survey also showed that one in five parents deliberately stalled their careers, 11% had refused a new job and one in 10 had declined a promotion in their attempts to rebalance.
Senior leadership teams and HR professionals must work together to ensure their organisation is attractive to become an employer of choice for workers.
Kim Hayton is the HR Director at FDR Law in Warrington. FDR HR can provide support and guidance with implementing flexible working and how to adopt a behavioural change within the business. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss or call 01925 230000