Work & Family Month

October is Work and Family Month!

The aim of National Work and Family Month is to raise awareness for family-friendly policies, work-place flexibility and other work-life benefits that attract, de-stress, engage and retain a talented workforce. Work and Family Month is a national observance to honor those who determinedly juggle work and family responsibilities and to recognize the organizations that support them with family-friendly policies, workplace flexibility and effective practices.

Being successful in the work place and at home means different things to different people.  For some, success in work-life means being able to work 40 hours a week while managing family care - such as picking the kids up from day care every day at 5 p.m. or taking mom to her sporadic mid-day doctor appointments. For others, work-life means pursing a college education or volunteer work.

Given the diversity in our lives, there is no clear path to finding the right balance between meeting work obligations, family responsibilities, career development, and personal fulfillment. Rather, working closely with their supervisors and colleagues, UC Davis employees are forging new paths for work-life success.

2018 WFM Deep Dive:  Family Supportive Supervisor Behaviors

This year, we are focusing on a construct called Family Supportive Supervisor Behaviors (FSSB) and Family-Supportive Organizational Culture and their cumulative role in promoting work engagement and performance. Studies concluded that workers supervised by family-supportive managers were significantly more likely to experience lower levels of work-family conflict, higher job satisfaction, lower intention to change jobs, and higher reports of physical and mental health.

How to be a Family Supportive Supervisor?  Focus on supporting employees' lives outside of the workplace and on helping employees manage both work and family/personal demands. This includes four types of behaviors:

1. Daily Job and Personal Problem Solving: Helping employees manage practical work-life issues, such as work assignments, family emergencies, or access to company resources.

2. Emotional Support: Showing employees that they are cared for, that their feelings are considered, and helping them feel comfortable communicating about family or non-work issues.

3. Role Model Behavior: Setting a good example by managing your own family and personal priorities in a way that works for you.

4. Creative Management: Being inventive and flexible to plan work in ways that benefit both employees' lives and workplace productivity.

However, these supervisory behaviors must be supported at an organizational cultural level to actually work.  Employees seek consistency between leaders’ FSSB and organizational culture which shape their attitudes (e.g. work engagement) and behaviors (e.g. performance).  When there is congruence between supervisor behaviors and organization culture, employees develop a stronger sense of attachment and show enhanced performance.  Read the study HERE.

If your manager/supervisor fits this description, and you want to express some gratitude, look for our Worklife Champion Recognition coming in January.