This election cycle, paid family leave has become a major campaign issue, drawing attention to the fact that many other countries mandate paid leave, so why not the U.S.? Critics say laws requiring employers to offer these benefits would hurt small businesses and hamper economic growth. Here’s why it’s actually in your employer’s best interest to give you paid time off, including sick time and family leave.
(Photo Credit: Mateus Lunardi Dutra/Flickr)
Netflix’s announcement last August that they would offer up to a year of paid family leave for mothers and fathers certainly made a statement. Other companies, like Microsoft, Adobe, and Amazon, also offer generous paid family leave. If companies want to compete for the best talent, they need to rise to (or at least near) the high bar set by these companies. Whether the boss understands it or not, millennials want work-life balance. This generation is the most likely to say they would take a pay cut, forgo a promotion, or move in order to achieve this goal than any other group. These days, when companies make competing for this talent a priority, they do so by offering competitive paid leave options.
2. It’s good for the company’s image and reputation.
Those heading up companies with paid leave realize they must concern themselves with the long arm of history. If they want to continue to be a successful company in the years and decades to come, they must do the right thing and cement their reputation as a morally conscious organization right from the beginning. Offering generous paid leave sends a powerful message about a company’s values and ethics – one that helps to catapult the business into a secure and sustainable future.
These days, it’s an accepted fact that vacations are good for productivity. Similarly, it’s true that more family time helps fathers’ careers. (Work-life balance isn’t just important for women). So, offering competitive paid leave to employees improves their productivity and, in turn, is good for business. It’s a real win-win.
Generous paid family leave isn’t just good for attracting the best employees, or for increasing their productivity – it’s also great for keeping these employees happy and committed to the company for the long haul. Unhappy workers are the ones who look to make a change. If companies can manage to keep their employees happy, they’ll be better able to retain their finest talent, which will be great for the business’s bottom line.
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