Title

Work-life balance : the ongoing challenge for organizations and their employees

Publication Date

1-1-2004

Degree Name

MA in International and Intercultural Management

First Advisor

Linda Gobbo

Abstract

In the following paper, I have attempted to look at the challenges that some of today’s working parents face. According to recent articles published by both Working Mother (Mahoney 2003) and The New York Times Magazine (Belkin 2003), an increasing number of women are choosing to leave the workplace for motherhood. Lisa Belkin (2003) states that women are opting for the choice of “satisfaction, balance, and sanity.” In her article, Belkin touches on the challenges of creating a work environment for staff that encourages that balance. As this trend of women opting out of an increasingly demanding workforce gains momentum, companies need to explore innovative ways to help their [female] employees find that work-life balance. For smaller companies and organizations with limited budgets, establishing formal work-family policies can pose a significant challenge. Big corporations can better absorb the cost associated with long-term leaves, on-site daycare, and flexible schedules (not to mention higher salaries), that are typically used to attract and retain their employees. Smaller organizations need to look for alternative ways to compete. This study was based on one specific organization, World Learning, and targeted employees faced with the unique challenge of caring for an infant. With the aim of determining whether a benefit program designed to assist working parents would positively affect employees’ satisfaction and more specifically employee loyalty to the organization, the study focuses on the possibility of bringing infants to the workplace. The study also aims to highlight that once work-family policies are accepted as mainstream, employees will be better able to give their best to their employers regardless of their family status.

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