Working Mother

Pivot Point

Employees at family-friendly companies had the edge when COVID-19 hit.

- BY BARBARA FRANKEL

How six companies stepped up to help working parents and families in the toughest of times.

As companies scrambled to convert their workforces to successful­ly telecommut­e this past spring, issues quickly arose over technology, scheduling, manager oversight and, most important, staffers’ ability to integrate childcare, homeschool­ing and other family needs with work demands.

Employees at the Working Mother 100 Best Companies are the real winners here. Because these organizati­ons already were highly attuned to the concerns of working families, including parents, their young children and even their college-age kids, they moved quickly to help.

“The global pandemic has hit our reset button. Being agile and adaptive in innovative and inclusive ways made a difference. Organizati­ons with strong, establishe­d benefits and flex programs were able to swiftly reorganize and catapult ahead to support employees from disproport­ionate setbacks,” says Deborah Munster, vice president of Working Mother’s Diversity Best Practices subsidiary.

Other organizati­ons, on the other hand, “needed to start from scratch,” says Amber Clayton, director, Knowledge Center, the Society for Human Resources Management. “They had to determine if telecommut­ing or flexible work days were even an option. If so, they not only had to develop policies, but they also had to determine which positions could successful­ly work from home and what would happen to those employees who could not do so.”

Here’s how these six 100 Best Companies used existing benefits and hiring commitment­s to

quickly address the new workforce needs.

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