More than 65 business and community leaders came together in Greensboro earlier this week to learn how employers can incorporate family-friendly business practices into their workplaces that attract and retain workers while supporting child and parent health and well being.
Action Greensboro hosted the workshop as part of its Talent Together Lunch & Learn series. Action Greensboro is a philanthropic collaborative designed to develop and attract the talent Greensboro needs to stay competitive in the global economy.
Action Greensboro Executive Director Cecelia Thompson kicked off the event by sharing recently released data and recommendations from the 2018-2019 Generation Greensboro survey. The survey includes feedback on topics such as top considerations when changing or seeking a new job and perception of Greensboro as a place to live and work. Work and life balance is a top factor for Greensboro workers when considering a job change, according to the survey, and recommendations for employers include:
- integrating family-friendly workplace policies;
- creating an organizational culture of health;
- and considering small policy adjustments, such as flexible office hours, that will reap large rewards.
Lisa Finaldi, community engagement leader for the North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation, and Emily Swartzlander, president of EBS Strategies, shared an overview of why workplace investments in parents and their children are good for businesses, good for child health and well being and good for our state’s economy and workforce development—both now and in the future. They also gave an overview of the Guide to Family Forward Workplaces, a robust tool that helps employers incorporate family-friendly workplace practices.
Following the Family Forward NC presentation, Jamiah Waterman, HR director for the City of Greensboro, and Reggie Delahanty, economic development and business support coordinator, gave a first-hand example for how family-friendly practices can work in the workplace.
Waterman outlined the City of Greensboro’s commitment to family-friendly workplace practices, including support for breastfeeding mothers and a six week paid parental leave. Delahanty shared his experience as a father who was able to take advantage of the city’s paid parental leave when his first son, now two-years-old, was born.
“I’d love to see every father take advantage of the benefit I was afforded,” Delahanty said. “I got six weeks with my son, and I’m learning today how important that is for an infant to have that parental contact. That time became the foundation for my relationship with my son.”
Delahanty said he is grateful to the City of Greensboro for offering paid parental leave.
“Often when I was home during those six weeks, I was able to offer gratitude that I was able to be home and that my employer cared enough about my family’s well being to pay me for six weeks to focus on that one task. My loyalty to my employer increased significantly by being able to take advantage of those six weeks,” he said.
Delahanty said he and his wife are now expecting twin girls, and he will take paid parental leave again when they are born.
Finally, Kelly Black, a registered nurse and lactation consultant at Cone Health’s Women’s Hospital, offered several resources employers can use when considering how to support breastfeeding moms.
The Talent Together Lunch & Learn event was supported by Cone Health and the University of North Carolina Greensboro School of Nursing.