Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Fw: The Hiring Site

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From: The Hiring Site
Date: Wed, 06 May 2009 02:36:12 +0000
To: <cpinkston@thecorporateplaybook.com>
Subject: The Hiring Site

The Hiring Site

Mother’s Day Survey Reveals One Third of Working Moms are Burned Out

Posted: 05 May 2009 02:30 PM PDT

Today, CareerBuilder released its annual Mother’s Day survey, the results of which I might not bring up at this Sunday’s brunch, lest you risk ruining your appetite for Eggs Benedict (and that is not okay where I come from)…

It seems that struggling to find a work/life balance as they take on additional hours and second jobs in tough financial times is starting to take a toll, as 34 percent of the 496 mothers surveyed report feeling “burned out.”

Not all that surprising consider that, according to the survey, 30 percent of working moms, whose companies have had layoffs in the past 12 months, are working longer hours, and 14 percent have taken on second jobs in the last year to help make ends meet.

The survey results also indicate that working moms are feeling increased pressure to be able to continue providing for their households and are spending more time on work:

  • 40 percent of working moms fear losing their jobs today more than they did one year ago
  • 43 percent work more than 40 hours per week
  • 16 percent bring work home at least two days a week
  • 6 percent bring work home with them every workday

Increased workloads are impacting the quantity and quality of time spent with their families - adding to their feelings of anxiety:  

  • Nearly 20 percent spend two hours or less with their children each day
  • 25 percent missed at least two significant events in their child’s life in the last year
  • One third of respondents are willing to take a pay cut to spend more time with their kids - even today, during one of the toughest economies in the nation’s history

Needless to say, “burned out” employees don’t exactly make for the most productive employees - even if they are bringing work home with them. This holiday, honor the working mothers at your company by thinking of ways to ease the stress that comes from raising a family in addition to holding down a job.

  1. Encourage employees to take care of themselves - Research shows that unhealthy employees are less productive, according to a recent Workforce Management article.  Encourage your employees to take advantage of health and wellness benefits (there’s a good chance they may not even be aware of all the benefits available), as well as vacation time so that they can take needed time off to recharge and spend time with their families. 
  2. Be open to providing alternative work arrangements - Alternative work arrangements not only help your workers maintain a better work/life balance (or “juggle” as HR Ringleader prefers to treat it), but they have a positive impact on productivity.  Consider compressed work-weeks, flexible hours that let employees start earlier and leave earlier and telecommuting.
  3. Know when to say when - As the infamous Bayer plant explosion shows, overworking your employees can lead to disaster (quite literally, in this case) At the same time, your employees are likely hesitant to say no to any projects that come their way, even if it means taking on more work than they can realistically handle.  Be sure to check in with them to see that they’re able to handle the amount of work you’re giving them - be flexible and willing to acknowledge that some projects may need to sit on the backburner so other projects can take precedence.  You may also look into providing classes or workshops devoted to time or project management, which will help them better prioritize their tasks, utilize their working hours and, ultimately, alleviate their stress. 

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