Childless employees have as much right to their personal lives as working parents. But treating everyone equitably doesn't mean treating them identically. Figureout how many reduced workloads your department can afford. Then, with your team, explore creative ideas that may appeal to different individuals. For instance:
• Let managers accumulate overtimehours they can take off later.
• Give bonuses and raises to employees who work holidays or regularly accept heavier workloads or difficult customers.
• Consider less time-consuming ways to satisfycustomers. For example, some clients may welcome e-mail and voice mail from company contacts in place of face-to-face meetings.
Tie Compensation to Quality of Work, not Quantity of Dependents
Tosustain employees' commitment to your company, make sure benefits packages don't favor parents over nonparents. Tie all compensation—including time off and other nonfinancial benefits—to work welldone. Judge the relative value of each employee to the company and reward them accordingly—regardless of whether they're parents.
As a manager, don't assume complete responsibilityfor making flexible schedules work. Instead, involve your employees in solving the problem:
• Allow interested employees—parents and nonparents—to submit proposals for flexible work arrangements.Each proposal should specify the work required during this period of time, the employee's strategy for completing that work while still satisfying customers, the proposed work hours, and so on.<
•Encourage employees to collaboratively generate ideas for achieving flexibility while still accomplishing work; for example, by telecommuting or job sharing. An entire team may also devise new ways tohandle work while also meeting personal needs.
• If you decline a request, explain why; e.g., "You haven't demonstrated how you'll meet your customers' needs." Ask the employee to revise the...