Motorola Canada recently instituted a series of information workshops to assist employees struggling to balance their professional and family lives. The program is operated through Parents At Work (PAW), an independent outfit that partners with organizations and experts on the topic of balancing life issues with work ones. The program features practical seminars and sessions on a wide variety of parenting issues, from having a baby to finding a daycare centre to sending your kids off to university.
“We felt that the sessions would ultimately help our employees gain knowledge and build internal networks to deal with childcare issues while also increasing our productivity,” says Frank Maw, president of Motorola Canada. “It would also help with our recruiting and reduce churn.”
IT professionals have to deal with enormous work pressures, which often take their toll on families, particularly in the go-go world of wireless. “It’s a fast-paced, competitive industry, and we’re doing more today with fewer employees,” says Maw. “The average cell phone has a market life of 16 to 18 months. We have to design our products, have them certified by carriers and (get them) out on the shelf to recover the cost and make our earnings before they’re gone.”
The kick-off PAW workshop selected by Motorola employees via survey was the wildly popular Power Struggles. It provides strategies for dealing with universal problems parents have with children of all ages, from getting howling toddlers into snowsuits to motivating sullen teenagers to take out the garbage every week.
An upcoming Common Childhood Medical Concerns session planned for the fall will provide employees the opportunity to speak with Dr. Jeremy Friedman, head of pediatrics at the Hospital for Sick Children. Motorola employees unable to attend the live session will be able to participate via teleconference and will have a remote call-in option to submit questions and receive personalized responses.
“As a parent, you don’t get a lot of training. It’s probably your toughest job, you’re the least trained for it, and you’re the harshest judge. If you’re at work, you don’t have information and you don’t have support. That’s what we’ve identified,” says Aim