According to a recent survey conducted by consumer healthcare organization Cognoa, 44 percent of working parents believe their current or past employers lack supportive, parent-friendly benefits. These working parents want their employers to offer additional resources. The number of families with two parents working full-time jobs increases each year, and if employers don't catch up, top talent will pass them over for organizations that offer more support to working parents.
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"In today's world, there are many families where both parents hold full-time careers," says Brent Vaughan, CEO of Cognoa. "Innovations and areas of importance in the workforce are changing, and many employers haven't grown with [them]. Now, parents expect modern care and benefits from their workplaces, and the employers not offering progressive options focused on balancing work and family life are missing out on a major talent pool."
Extended family support is of growing importance to high-performing employees. Examples of new, progressive benefits that might help working parents achieve better work/life balance include:
- CliniCloud, a kit that contains a non-contact thermometer, a digital stethoscope, and a smartphone application that enables users to forward vital signs to a doctor for an immediate consultation.
- Programs like DoubleNetPay help families make smarter financial decisions and improve their overall financial wellness.
- KurboHealth offers a mobile app that empowers kids and teens to set goals, lose weight, and develop healthy eating and exercise habits.
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Helping Working Parents With Child Development
Cognoa, which specializes in child development and behavior, has also thrown its hat into the benefits ring with Cognoa for Employers. The program offers parents a clinically validated screening that can be done in the privacy of the home to assess for developmental delays, track milestones, and recommend physician-approved activities to support the healthy development of children.
"Top concerns for employees are family health and wellness, financial planning, more flexible PTO and work-from-home options, and longer paternity/maternity leave," says Michele Bell, Cognoa's vice president of partnerships. "An employee with children feels less pressure knowing that their employer supports their need to balance work and home responsibilities."
With career demands often making it hard to find work/life balance, parents are looking for additional ways to ensure their children are on track, even when they're not physically present. Cognoa's survey found that more than 58 percent of parents who work or study away from home believe their absence affects their child's development. Furthermore, more than 62 percent of parents would utilize offerings through their employer's insurance that allow them to track their children's development.
Providing comprehensive benefits packages for working parents reduces employee stress, improves their focus and productivity, and enables parents to stay in the workforce, thereby decreasing turnover for employers.
"Parent-friendly benefits create a culture that values the employee as a whole person instead of just for the work he or she is providing for the company," says Bell. "Happy, less stressed employees produce better results, and if they feel as though their employer values family priorities as well as their results at work, productivity can actually improve despite challenges at home."