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85 ways to be supportive

85 ways to be supportive

There are many ways an organization can take to show its workforce that it’s committed to the dual agenda − helping employees handle personal issues while meeting business needs.

We’ve come up with 85 of them and have listed them below. But before you tackle them, here are five steps we recommend:

1. Make a vocal and written commitment to the “dual agenda” – meeting employee needs as well as business needs – and make sure it comes from top management. Think of it as a new product.

2. Put someone in charge of the effort.

3. Communicate that commitment to managers, holding meetings, discussing what it would look like in real time. (Consider offering rewards for managers who put the commitment to work.)

4. Ask employees, either in a survey, focus groups or around the lunch table, what it would take to make their lives more livable and still get the job done.

5. Implement at least five programs, work practices or policy changes in response to employee needs.

And here are the 85 ways:

For working parents and caregivers . . .

1. Providing or subsidizing care for mildly ill children
2. Providing or subsidizing backup dependent care
3. Onsite childcare or preschool
4. Help finding childcare
5. Help finding eldercare and other caregiving resources
6. Help with summer care (providing, finding, subsidizing)
7. Pregnancy and infertility treatment
8. Prenatal care
9. Well-baby care
10. Single parenting assistance
11. Onsite K-12 school
12. Help with special needs children
13. Parenting support groups
14. Adoption assistance
15. Expert help with child development
16. Help finding colleges
17. College scholarships or tuition assistance
18. Geriatric caregivers

For better health, both mental and physical . . . 

19. Onsite fitness center
20. Health and wellness incentives
21. Onsite relaxation efforts
22. Stress reduction training or other stress management efforts
23. Safety training
24. Ergonomic workplace
25. Health club discounts
26. Sponsored athletics
27. Nutrition counseling
28. Lower insurance rates for nonsmokers
29. Support for those living with a disability
30. Grief and loss counseling
31. Help with personal relationships
32. Domestic violence counseling
33. Alcohol and drug abuse counseling
34. Gambling counseling
35. Eating disorders counseling
36. Help with other addictions

When a break from work is needed . . . 

37. Paid sabbaticals
38. Mental health days
39. Paid vacations
40. Paid paternity leave
41. Paid maternity leave
42. Paid adoption leave
43. Community service days
44. Employee retreats
45. Play days

For a more rewarding career . . .

46. Ongoing skill-building, training and career counseling
47. Informal meetings with top executives
48. Ombudsperson
49. Diversity training
50. Relocation assistance
51. Assistance with business travel

To help make ends meet . . .

52. Mass transit reimbursement
53. Home mortgage assistance
54. Employee credit union
55. Group auto and home insurance
56. Group long term care insurance
57. Auto care
58. Merchandise discounts
59. Financial assistance, interest-free loans

To create a more flexible workplace

60. Use of telecommuting equipment at home
61. Option of working from home
62. Job sharing
63. Compressed workweeks
64. Reduced workload
65. Work redesign (splitting tasks to make jobs more appropriate for flexibility)
66. Flextime (altering starting and ending times)
67. Manager training for a more flexible workplace

To save both time and money . . .

68. Onsite restaurant with affordable food and healthy choices
69. Onsite snacks and beverages
70. Onsite bookstore
71. Onsite gift shop
72. Onsite medical facilities
73. Onsite pharmacy
74. Assistance in buying and leasing cars
75. Home repairs
76. Real estate assistance (buying, selling and renting)
77. House cleaning
78. Continuation of benefits during military service
79. Retirement counseling
80. Tax preparation assistance
81. Will consultation
82. Attorney issues
83. Estate and probate law
84. Living wills
85. Sick days buy-back

View a Demo of Our Online Courses
  • The Virtual Workplace
  • Managing the High Performance Workplace
  • From Stress to Resilience
  • The Flexible Workplace
  • Introducing Flexibility: A Guide for Human Resources
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85 ways to be supportive