Child care: Not only the employee benefits
You are in the midst of launching a new magazine and have been fortunate to recruit a creative up-and-comer to take on the role of editor. He is bright, fast on his feet, a quick thinker with lots of energy and enthusiasm, and has demonstrated management strengths prior jobs. The staff includes a number of beginners who, with the right amount of guidance and direction, will become a strong, cohesive team.
An important launch meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday at 2:00 PM. The meeting commences and is running smoothly until it is interrupted by an ungent phone call for the editor. His child has a temperature and must be picked up from the day-care center. His spouse, who also holds a challenging management position, is away on a business trip for the week.
The editor must make a decision, and quickly. He opts to reschedule the meeting and quickly leaves to pick up his child. The child remains sick for two days. You editor is out and the launch develops snags because of his absence. His calls in and does as much as possible from home, but he can't leave his son because he has no one to take care of a "sick child" in his wife's absence.
You have these kinds of scenarios happening more frequently than you realize because parents--both mothers and fathers--are taking a more active and equal role in the rearing of their offspring. The proliferation of single parents creates the additional burden of your employees not having partners to rely on to take over in a crisis situation.
Lost time from work because of day-care and family-related emergencies is the single largest culprit in today's corporate world. Your $50,000-a-year editor who loses an average of eight days per year from work costs you over $1,800 in lost time. Multiply this by the number of people you have working for you with preschool children or children in after-school care, and the …