Here in Rock County WI the current unemployment rate is 3.3% (Bureau of Labor Statistics – 2017). That is amazing, it really is. When we lost the GM plant in Janesville, WI the rate was somewhere between 10% – 16% based on the city you lived in within Rock County. To say we have come a long way is an understatement. This major turnaround is fantastic and I do not want it to go away, but I am looking to address something that has come from our increase in jobs available. The need for employees is now really high and it is very hard to find employees who are going to be at a company for longer than my 3 year old’s mood swing. So what I want to address is what a portion of the workforce is looking for in a company. I am talking about the desired Working Mom’s Work Culture.
Let’s start with FLEXIBILITY. As long as pay covers a family’s basic needs more often than not a mom will look for a company that believes in offering flexibility to their employees. Flexibility can come in a number of forms:
Ability to flex hours – instead of 8-5 today a mom can work 7-4.
Option to work from home – a child is sick and mom is called upon to be the caregiver.
If the work gets done the hours don’t matter – this is more extreme but if a mother knows that it doesn’t matter the exact time/days she works but whether or not she gets the work done, this can greatly impact mood and ability to be a mom.
The next desired part of a working mom’s work culture is AUTONOMY. I think some would be surprised by this one, but let’s break it down. Moms lead families. They create schedules, make sure everyone has what they need, they play the role of caregiver, bus driver, homemaker, chef, maid, teacher, worker…they manage it all. Imagine now a mom who does all of this and at work is micro-managed. Every decision she makes about the success of her career is directed. The leader now feels like the child. Giving moms space to build, grow, learn, create will give a mom the feeling of being successful in her career as well as at home. Great things come from minds of moms who actually have the ability to freely think.
My last point is MONEY. Ah yes, money. Most of the time employers believe money is the most important aspect of a career but in reality it isn’t. See points above. When it comes to pay, moms expect a few things.
They will be paid equally as their male counterparts.
Enough money will be made that it is a financially responsible decision for the family to have mom work vs. stay home.
Pay = expectations set.
Really it is pretty simple when it comes to pay. If a mom loves her work she will be more comfortable working for less as long as the other points are there.
Mothers can be working powerhouses. Think about the type of person you would be hiring if you hired a mom. On average you would be hiring, dedicated, hard working, trustworthy, clever people who not only can manage a job but manage a family. And let me tell you something, managing a family is WAY HARDER than managing a career. Create a Work Culture that pulls in these individuals by incorporating flexibility, autonomy and good pay. Find highly qualified individuals by giving them something other companies don’t.