Here we list the most frequently asked questions we receive about the Family Smart/Parentsmart Employers concept.
It's an old fact showing a new perspective on the matter of parenthood/family and work. It's about both parents and employers paying more attention to the work benefits of parenting and caregiving. And why it’s important to combine practical support with leader attitudes that make employees feel like an asset, not a burden and cost at work when taking care of children and family. The initiative is also about adding to more gender equal societies, where both women and men can live a "whole life", without having to choose between family and work.
The initiative is founded by Tiina Bruno, a Swedish mother of 3, who during her parental leaves and years with small kids simultanously worked with development of modern leadership and executive coaching in fast growing companies. She discovered interesting links between parenthood and leadership skills attractive to most employers, and decided to make research, gather stories and best practise and start spreading them, for a new perspective that may change important norms among employers in both Sweden and abroad.
She launched the ideas 2010 in a book full of stories and examples, and has after that been lecturing and travelling around the world for the Swedish Institute/Foreign Ministry, UN agencies. It has built an understanding about how the Family Smart/Parentsmart focus can be discussed and implemented in all companies and countries.
Family Smart/Parentsmart Employers develop and reinforce the attitudes that separate the winners of tomorrow's labor market. You become a more attractive employer, and the mindset provides leverage for existing work with everything from sustainable leadership and increased gender equality to employer branding and profitability. It increases engagement, loyalty and wellbeing.
The implementation of the approach provides a norm breaking impact, possible to spread both locally and globally.
Today, many companies have policies and tools to promote the combination of parenthood with work. Mostly concerning practical support. Scandinavian companies are often role models for gender equality and "Work Life Balance". And in many other parts of the World creative initiatives are developed within the area.
But many have missed the most important assets - a leadership and a culture that sees and shows a positive company value with family life. We must move from seeing parenthood as an obstacle to consider it as a valuable asset. Parenting is so much more than free time with the children. It's about developing skills that develop modern leadership, it gives perspectives and new angles to the company's objectives and means, it gives birth to ideas that a full agenda never allow... In the future a father that go to get his child home from kindergarten, or who takes his paternity leave with pride, should be encouraged by his manager and colleagues. The mother who combines leadership and parenting should be a role model and parental leave should be seen as skills development.