Family as the Factor of Success

Every employees dream: part time, full time, job sharing, home office – everything is possible and can be chosen by themselves.
If the sun is shining, just get on your bike, go for a ride for two hours and get back to the office with fresh and new ideas.
The manager of the advertising agency “Moskito” advises: The person who arranges working hours and working location by himself can work much more efficient.
A lot of young families wish for a better compatibility of family and career. Imagine the situation that the ratio between job, free time and family is balanced very well, not only the employee feels more pleased, but also the worker is able to increase his own work performance. The German Federal Ministry for Families has detected this phenomenon and started a company competition:  Family as the factor of Success. About 530 companies applied for the challenge while 42 were nominated as the final firms; among them the DAX quoted company Henkel in Düsseldorf, Germany.

Regina Neumann-Busies, Manager of the social services of Henkel holds the opinion that at this time, it is quite natural for women to combine career and family. Nowadays the question is not anymore IF it is possible to connect those two ways of life, but rather the question HOW. Henkel wants to simplify the merge of job and family by offering flexible working hours, own company kindergarten and holding seminars about the family-career-balance. This traditional company in Düsseldorf puts a lot of effort in being a big family company. Apprentices have the chance to attend a debt prevention seminar in order learn how to deal with their first own salary. Moreover, every three years, shift workers can go on vacation with their family to the ocean or in the mountains with included health program, sponsored by Henkel. Furthermore, if an employee has to take care of older family members, the person can attend so called Care-Support-Groups and has the possibility to talk about the matter and to get some care tips. Henkel supports all this in order to keep their employees happy and balanced.

Diversity-Manager of the Commerzbank, Barbara David explains that initiatives for connecting career and family, even allows the company to save money. Since the bank improved their child care program, mothers and fathers are coming back from their parental leave earlier than a couple years ago. In 2004 Mums and Dads stayed at home 30 months on average, nowadays they return to work after 20 months. As a result of this, professional development costs can be strongly reduced.

One of the finalists of the competition by the German Federal Ministry for Families is the construction company Krüger und Schramm from Eichsfeld in Thuringia, Germany. They developed a program which is called: staff-enthusiasm-program. After staying five years in the company, the employee receives a certificate and a check. Furthermore to stay healthy will be awarded; if a staff member can prove one year without absent days, the company’s CEO praises the worker during the Christmas party. Additionally, every four weeks the construction area of the month will be elected. Moreover, the company holds several parties, organizes soccer tournaments, and tries to create a very pleasant working atmosphere by offering fresh fruits and beverages for free. The company’s spokesman Verena Raacke explains: “This is our sign for gratitude for the good daily work”.

However it has to be considered, if all those awards and programs reach every single employee or if it is limited to a small number of staff members. Furthermore it has to be critically examined how serious the companies are with implementing all those wonderful ideas and how long the goodwill of the CEOs lasts.



5 thoughts on “Family as the Factor of Success

  1. I like the idea to combine job with family life because i think this is important to create a good jwork-life-balance. The only thing which makes me some kind of angry is, that this ideas almost everytime get established by women. If we look at this post, there are only women trying to converte those ideas. I is still hard for especially women to combine job with family. I think if men, who unfortanetly still are in management positions, would stand up for this it would be easier to establish a good work life-balance in more companies. But the important thing is that there are several pioneers who are a good example for other companies. I hope that if other companies see how the employee’s performance improves, they copy this way to make work life easier for all involved.

  2. Career or a family? Is it worth to reject familly for the work? For many people is a difficult choice, difficult question. So the better way is connect this two things. Usually is not so easy to do this, when you choose a career, you don’t have enought time for your familly. So you have to balance your work and you private life. This is also big challenge for your familly, wife or husband and children, who have to be understanding for you, support and motivate you to work, to be a good worker, good manager. Is good when your life partner also is working, not only sit at home, all day alone or with kids. Good relation at work and at home help you work better, more efficiently.

  3. I really like the last paragraph of this article where the author questions if all these described ideas of the concept of combining job and family reach every single employee and how they get implemented. I think this is actually the only relevant point to this topic. Everyone and also the media are talking about it all the time as it is an extremely current issue. Of course it is because it affects every working person but does it really reach them? I work in a retail and tourism company in Germany which establishes basic conditions that help employees to combine their private life and work time such as part time jobs, spots in kindergarten, hotline services and so on. But the actual important thing is that they inform their employees about these opportunities for example with booklets, posters at the notice board, speeches of selected colleagues, and companies’ website and intranet. I always felt informed and if not I knew where to find information. I think that many companies offer family-friendly concepts (to be competitive on the labour market) but also many employees do not know about it due to a bad channel of information. While talking about all these factors in the higher management, companies should involve their employees in this process as they are mainly affected.

  4. It’s very interesting theme and I’m surprised that already some companies want to develop it. I think it’s very important that people could balance their job and family duties and take enough care for family members and themselves. As we can see, that nowadays it’s difficult to achieve that kind of goal, because of different job manner, work conditions, payment, family situation etc. Anyway, I like that companies start doing and try to develop this idea. I hope Family as the factor of success will become more familiar to everyone.


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