Our Work

Our consulting work includes corporate surveys and feasibility studies for Australian, New Zealand and Singapore employers.

Our clients include:

  • financial institutions
  • professional firms
  • pharmaceutical companies and
  • government departments

We work with businesses exploring the feasibility of implementing flexible work practices, work|life well-being strategies and child care.

A key element of this work is to identify which strategies would best suit the business and employee needs, considering financial and workplace population sustainability. 

Consulting (Work|Life Well-being Project Management)

Families At Works consulting services are all project based meeting the individual needs of companies considering dependent care (for example child and/or elder care), workplace flexibility and cultural fit. 

Our consulting work is based on a thorough understanding of the context of the work to be undertaken:
•    the organisation – past, present and future growth, opportunities and strategies
•    local resources and capacity
•    future sustainability, compliance and reporting and
•    business needs and employee needs

Dependent care and workplace flexibility policies, programs and strategies need to be part of a wider program of policies and practices that are linked to and support a company’s people strategies; whether these relate to diversity, human resources, or workplace health and safety. 

Whatever policies and programs are provided must be the right fit for a company and be flexible enough to adapt and change as employee demographics and external markets change.

Needs Assessment

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Families At Work has extensive experience in developing organisation-specific work and personal life surveys. The survey forms a comprehensive tool to assist an organisation to gauge the demands of their workforce. It can be used to determine the best work and personal life options that would suit employee needs while meeting business objectives and workplace culture.

The survey may include a review of all current and potential work||ife policies, and workplace cultural impacts that the organisation may be considering or just focus on a particular program, such as child care provision. One advantage of having a broader survey is that it does not focus respondent's attention on one type of program as a potential outcome.

Families At Work can also design and conduct a survey that includes other issues that impact on the success of a work|life program. For example these issues could be included in a survey about diversity or organisational culture.

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Training

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Our research indicates that the sensitivity of managers and supervisors to employees’ personal needs is the most critical factor in employees’ productivity and perception of the organisation.

Our information and training programs provide managers with skills, tools and guidance to help them respond appropriately to the work and family needs of employees, while achieving corporate goals and maximising the bottom line. This training prepares managers to implement their work and family|life policies.

Families At Work also provides training for employees to help them balance their work and family/personal life. Both the manager and employee training sessions are customised to fit the industry and the particular employees.

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Return on Investment

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Our Return on Investment/Cost Benefit Analyses studies are useful to establish what the return on investment is for an employer implementing a particular program.

Families At Work estimate the cost of the establishment and operation of the program over a given period of time. We then estimate the benefits to the employer of providing this type of program. Likely direct financial benefits include reductions in staff-related costs (eg. improved productivity, reduced turnover and absenteeism, etc), public relations benefits and in some cases tax concessions.

Cost benefit analysis can be used in three ways.

  • To examine the current costs of not having a policy as a method of motivating the organisation to implement a policy and perhaps provide a budget to do so. The costs of not having a policy might include the cost of staff turnover due to the inability of staff to work the hours required of them and balance this with their family responsibilities.
  • To examine the cost benefits of implementing a proposed policy as a method of assessing which, if any option/s to implement. This might include examining the expected costs and benefits of introducing paid parental leave such as the cost of leave, the cost of replacement staff, the benefit of reduced staff turnover and shorter parental leave.
  • To examine the cost benefits of an existing policy. This can be a method of evaluating the effectiveness of the particular option, for example the costs and benefits actually experienced from part time work, such as administrative costs and reduced absenteeism.

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Feasibility Studies

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These studies form the basis for a business case for specific strategies, and estimate the likely return on an organisation's investment in work|life initiatives. Our feasibility studies examine our clients’ proposed strategy and the different aspects or policies and programs they may be considering. Information contained in the studies includes costs, benefits, community opportunities, best practice modes and any other issue relevant to the organisation.

A feasibility study can determine a way forward in regard to work|life policies and programs. It can help an organisation to be confident it is implementing the right strategy and determine whether the resources and commitment are in place to progress.

 

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Program Implementation and Evaluation

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Policies and programs need to be implemented in a way that ensures they are effective. Employees need to know about them, there needs to be a climate that encourages them to be used and there needs to be systems in place that do not hinder their use.

Families At Work helps implement any workplace practice or program that will assist employees balance their work and personal lives.

Families At Work also evaluates the success of pilot and long term programs and makes recommendations as to how the program might be changed or modified to improve its success and the productivity of staff.

Throughout all work undertaken by Families At Work, we liaise regularly with the employer to report on progress and discuss new developments as they arise.

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Case Studies

The Financial Institution

We conducted a dependent care survey for a large financial institution who was interested to explore current and future dependent care issues. This survey identified:

  • potential demand for a dependent care information and resource service
  • enhanced workplace flexibility strategies to support parents returning to work from parental leave including a stay in touch program and
  • manager support and training to identify and implement workplace flexibility within their teams in different parts of the business

The Multinational

A multinational organisation wanted to review its existing work|life policies and practices to develop a more integrated approach that linked their policies and practices to workplace culture and business outcomes. This was part of a multinational diversity project.

We conducted a series of management interviews, employee focus groups and an interview with the CEO. We examined:

  • participants’ current understanding of work|life well-being and how this may be impacting on the company
  • personal experience with work|life well-being
  • which work|life policies were working well for the company
  • what could be improved and
  • ideas to move the company forward in relation to work|life well-being with explicit links to the regional and global diversity strategy, and local business outcomes.