Frequently, employers will ask us about the ROI for offering family-friendly policies. Last week, we sat down with Marshall Staton, director of human resources at Aeroflow Healthcare, to ask him how Aeroflow measures the impact of its family-friendly policies. Staton, who’s been with the company for over five years, says he sees enormous business benefit to Aeroflow.
For an overview of Aeroflow’s benefits, check out our case study on the company.
Q: Can you give us a quick overview of your philosophy when it comes to family-friendly benefits? Which benefits do employees value the most?
A: We offer a wide range of benefits for new parents and have attempted to structure the benefits in a way that will have the most positive impact on all families.
Based on the feedback that we’ve received from our employees the last couple of years, there are two or three benefits that seem to have the most impact. First is that we offer free diapers for a year after the adoption or birth of a child. Each employee gets two full cases of diapers per month for the first year. Diapers are expensive, and this is definitely a favorite benefit for a lot of our new families.
The second benefit is probably just the flexibility of our work arrangements. Although we do have some positions where employees have to work on site, most of our employees have the flexibility to work in the office, to work at home, or even a hybrid of both. Between doctors’ appointments, check ups, sick kids, and all the other logistics of being a parent, having this flexibility is really paramount.
And finally — last but not least — we offer paid (parental) leave for parents who’ve been with the company for a year. Having dedicated time to spend time at home with your new baby is probably the most important thing for employees who are new parents.
Q: What is Aeroflow’s motivation or reason for offering family-friendly policies?
A: First and foremost, it’s just the right thing to do. Our employees are extremely dedicated, very hardworking, and ultimately we know that taking care of them allows them to focus on the work at hand instead of being impacted by the stress and anxiety of how they’re going to take care of their families. All companies really need to recognize that if you take care of your employees, they’ll take care of your customers, and they’re going to look out for the best interest of the company.
From a purely business perspective, it helps with both recruiting and retention of employees. These are just critical benefits employees and potential new hires look for. Obviously if you’re thinking about starting a family, these benefits are going to be very important for you. But even for employees who may never use these benefits, the fact that we offer them shows that we care about our employees, and we invest in their health and wellness, as well as the well-being of their family.
Finally, as a healthcare company, we need to practice what we preach and promote the health and well-being of everyone.
Q: So what is the ROI to Aeroflow for being a family-friendly employer?
A: The result of offering these benefits is really almost impossible to quantify. It’s been a huge success. In broad terms, our new parents are happy, they’re healthy, they’re engaged in the work that they’re doing, and they’re productive when they come back to work. The retention rate for new parents is extremely high. The vast majority of our new parents end up returning to work full time or at least at the same hours they were working previously. Then those employees who do come back to work are productive and engaged. Because we’ve supported them through what is often a really challenging transition in their lives, they are loyal to the company and they often stay here long term. From a pure dollars and cents perspective, it also saves us money in recruiting costs and helps increase production of these employees.