Is On-site Childcare Beneficial?

It seems as though with each passing month the demands of employees and job seekers are getting more and more interesting. Articles on how top companies offer employee benefits are running rampant lately. Upon first glance you may think that all of these incentives are a bit ridiculous. However, if you think about it a bit deeper, if you want someone to do a great job for you then you have to invest in them. You have to nurture that talent in order for it to grow and prosper. A neglected flower rarely blooms. One of the biggest incentives that candidates are seeking out is on-site childcare.

Although you think it may be difficult to implement, on-site childcare services are huge employee benefits that will likely bring the top talent to your office. Let’s take a look at the benefits of offering childcare in the workplace.

A study by micro-economist Rachel Connely and colleagues published in their 2004 book titled “Kids at Work: The Value of Employer-Sponsored On-Site Child Care Centers” covered the benefits employers can reap from offering on-site childcare in addition to other employee benefits. Not only is it affordable, but it is actually profitable. In fact, most employees stated that they would contribute to the cost of on-site childcare even if they didn’t need it themselves. So why would offering childcare in the workplace be profitable for employers?

Reduce the Rate of Turnover
By offering on-site childcare as employee benefits, you are making your company much more desirable than one that does not. If you have hired top talent, but some of that top talent happen to also be working parents, then you are going to have to compete with other companies that do offer childcare in the workplace. It would be much more difficult for those working parents, that are also great workers, to leave your company when you offer such a desirable benefit. On the other hand, if an opportunity comes along with a company that does offer on-site childcare and your company does not, the employees you have that are also working parents will most likely jump ship when presented with the opportunity.

Reduce Tardiness/Absenteeism
Working parents often struggle with very busy schedules. You can make the argument that, as an employer, it is not your responsibility to bend over backwards to accommodate their life choices. This may be true, but at least half of the employees you hire will likely be working parents. Therefore, hectic scheduling and conflicts are sure to arise. Working parents may often have to call off work due to an issue with their childcare provider. Perhaps the childcare center is closed or their main provider is sick. When these things come up, parents have to rush to find an alternative. Often times, they can’t find a replacement and have to stay home with their child. When you offer on-site childcare, these issues dissipate.

Reel in Top Talent
As stated earlier, offering on-site childcare is an extremely desirable benefit. If your company offers childcare in the workplace as one of its top employee benefits, then it’s likely you will reel in better, stronger candidates. After all, would a working parent be more apt to go with the company that offers on-site childcare, or the company that pays a little more? On top of that, not all of your candidates are going to be working parents. However, it may be something in their near future and they will be more attracted to a company that makes childcare a breeze.

Have a Positive Impact
Regardless of whether your employees are all working parents or not, simply offering on-site childcare shows that you care. In the study by Connely, she is quoted saying, “I was impressed with the near universality of positive feeling workers showed about working for a company that had a childcare center. They liked the idea that their company took care of the person who worked down the row from them.” When you show your workers that you truly care for them and their well-being, that translates into positivity in your employees across the board. Happy employees are productive employees.

So you see, offering childcare in the workplace can be extremely beneficial to not only your employees, but your company as well.

Does your company offer on-site childcare as one of its employee benefits? Do you think that it makes a difference in the talent you attract and the productivity/happiness of your employees? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by Finiky