A seemingly counterintuitive business decision helped this company triple its profits

man-sunsetCreating a workplace that supports family life is the right thing to do. But it’s also the right decision economically. These aren’t perks, but investments in people that pay off — financially and in other ways. Prioritizing families has a business benefit — the proof is in the data.

Family-affirming policies reduce turnover costs, including lost productivity while a position is vacant, plus recruitment, relocation, and training time. This can range from 20% of annual salary for a non-managerial employee, to 150% for a director or vice president.

At Patagonia, over the past five years we’ve seen 100% of moms return to work after maternity leave. Turnover for parents who have children in our on-site childcare program runs 25% less than for our own general employee population. And public policy helps. Under California’s paid family leave program, the average length of leave has doubled, with the greatest benefit accruing to women of color and in lower-wage jobs.

Studies also show that employees who feel supported by their companies tend to be more engaged in their work, and engaged workers are more productive. In California, nearly 90% of businesses surveyed about the effects of the California paid leave program reported either a positive effect or no noticeable effect on productivity. At Patagonia, employee engagement has translated directly into business success — profits have tripled in recent years, allowing us to reinvest in our mission.

Full story: Business Insider »

Published by waworkfam

The Washington Work and Family Coalition includes representatives of seniors, women, labor, health professionals, children’s advocates, faith communities, low income workers, employers, non-profits and other organizations. We’re working together to make it easier for parents to raise healthy children and care for aging parents; for workers to care for themselves or their partners in the event of a serious illness; and for businesses to offer modern workplace standards that improve productivity and worker health.

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