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Engaging Families in Business: The Small Business Advantage

Author

Doug Bonderud

More by Doug
Author

Doug Bonderud

More by Doug

Both large enterprises and small businesses often struggle to retain their high-value employees. While some employees may leave for greener working pastures, others may seek greater advancement opportunities elsewhere or leave in search of a better work-life balance to ensure that their family members aren't left out of the equation. Though small businesses may not be able to afford the same kind of perks offered by their corporate competitors, they can establish a more family-friendly work environment. By engaging family members and loved ones in business, you can help boost employee morale and engagement. Here are some tips on how to get started:

Flexible Work Schedules

One way to demonstrate a family-friendly work environment is by promoting flexibility when it comes to helping employees spend more time with their loved ones. For example, by allowing your team members to take time off to attend their children's baseball games and ballet recitals, you can create a culture that values families and makes it clear to employees that their personal lives are just as important as their professional obligations. While this may lead to potential staffing complications, encouraging employees to plan and communicate their schedule in advance may help alleviate some of the disruption.

Educational Assistance

According to Entrepreneur, just two percent of all surveyed companies in the Society for Human Resource Management's 2014 Employee Benefits Report said they offered educational loans for family members of employees. While this number may look disheartening on paper, it provides a golden opportunity for small businesses. By offering any kind of financial support — from scholarships to educational loans or grants — you can provide your staff members with a valuable perk that they won't find at many other jobs. The goal here isn't to bankrupt your business with educational offerings but rather to create a kind of good faith gesture that shows your employees that you value them and their families.

Fun Stuff

It's also important to get your employees' families involved through regular social activities. You might want to establish a social committee that organizes various events (from holiday parties to family skating excursions) throughout the year. By encouraging families to have fun together in a quasi-work setting, you can help your employees feel a sense of belonging, which can make them more likely to stay on your team in the long term. This is especially true if your employees' family members begin to befriend each other.

Medical Plans

One of the biggest concerns for employees is having access to cost-effective health care. For many working individuals, it can be a struggle to even find a family doctor, let alone pay for the cost of ongoing medical treatment. By subsidizing a portion of medical costs through a copay program, you can boost employee morale.

Are you interested in discovering additional strategies to help drive employee engagement? Check out this article to learn about six effective ways to motivate and engage employees without breaking the bank.