Friday, May 8, 2009

Female Executives, Strong Companies and Family Balance

During this week's Corporate Voices for Working Families conference, Michelle Obama shared that when she was an executive she endeavored to provide flexibility for her employees. That flexibility translated into greater productivity and loyalty.

"I found that as I've managed staff, the more flexibility and opportunities that I gave them to be good parents, the more commitment that they made to working with me, the less likely they were to leave because they wouldn't find the same sort of situation somewhere else,"

We can talk a lot about life-work balance. But the First Lady has hit the nail on the head. People are concerned about their families. Years ago balance was achieved by a parent being at home. That ability to choose seems to have largely evaporated today.

Full Washington Post article,

What's interesting about her remarks is the connection she makes between strong families and strong companies. Companies endeavoring to provide flexibility engender greater employee commitment. That's good for the company and produces higher productivity and improved retention. It probably seems counter-intuitive to most of today's businesses.

As Michelle Obama says, "So this isn't just about family balance. This is about making work places stronger and more effective, and keeping and attracting the most qualified people."

Seems there are benefits all around in caring about people.

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