Checked and Certified: Work/life balance
We believe that it is important for our employees’ work to be as compatible as possible with family life.
Since 2004, we have been using the strategic management tool devised by the organization berufundfamilie gGmbH. We develop and implement needs-oriented, practicable solutions in a sustainable, ongoing process. And we succeed: as part of the audit, G+D in Germany received certification for the fifth time in 2016.
Work/Life Balance at G+D
What We Have Achieved Already
Although a family-friendly HR policy is an ongoing responsibility, Since 2004, we have continually expanded our options for families, and how we tangibly support our employees. Examples in Germany:
- Flexibility: There is a clear focus on flexible division of working hours, as well as the home office and mobile working
- Daycare for employees’ children: G+D subsidizes daycare spaces at the “ZuKi” daycare facility, which is located at the Munich site
- Daycare places for the children of employees: Louisenthal paper mill operates its own daycare facility at its location in Tegernsee
- Support in looking for care solutions: Our RUF (“Rund um die Familie” or “All about the family”) family advisory and agency service helps parents to find daycare solutions and staff for their children and other members of their family who need care. G+D covers the agency fees
- Summer holidays: G+D has been offering whole-day daycare for employees’ children during the summer holidays since 2008
- Training and development: we offer seminars for parents, as well as employees with dependents in need of care, e.g. a re-entry seminar after parental leave, “Family-Learning-Work” or “Caring for Dependents”
- Help during illness and care: In collaboration with the pme family service, we give all employees at the Munich and Leipzig sites the opportunity to receive free advice and mediation in the event of illness and caring for dependents
Regularly tested and approved
Re-audit of “berufundfamilie”: Successful for the Fifth Time
berufundfamilie gGmbH, an initiative run by the not-for-profit Hertie Foundation under the aegis of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology and Ministry of Families, first recognized and rewarded our family-friendly HR policy in Germany in 2004. The fifth audit, which took place in 2016, found that family-friendly values are securely anchored at G+D in Germany. For us, this renewed recertification is not only a distinction, but also a commitment for the future. This is why we set out to:
- further develop part-time schemes for different stages of life and life plans
- promote work in flexible job locations
- ensure that work-life balance is an important pillar in the company’s health management program
- incorporate the topic in performance reviews
If you take parental leave at executive level you attract particular attention, and ultimately you’re setting the example.Markus, Head of the Research and Development department in Munich
G+D: Fathers and parental leave: how did that go as a manager?
Markus: It’s not yet such a matter of course for us fathers as it is for women. But attitudes are changing, which is a good thing. As a result of the legal framework and financial support, the number of men who take paternity leave is rising.
If you take parental leave at executive level you attract particular attention, and ultimately you’re setting the example.
G+D: So how did you handle it?
Markus: For me it was important to get my superiors on board and not simply insist on my statutory entitlement. I suggested that I could split the two months of paternity leave and not combine them with vacation, so I would only be away for a maximum of one month at a time.
I also discussed training up someone who could stand in for me beyond normal vacation cover. Thirdly, I offered to come into work if there was an emergency, which in the end wasn't necessary.
G+D: So you’ve experienced the situation from both perspectives...
Markus: Yes, I had already experienced the situation from the manager’s side with my own staff, so I knew the rules of the game. That helped me when it came to deciding how to go about it for myself.
It really helps if the employee comes to you and says: “Boss, I would like to take parental leave, but I would also like to discuss all the arrangements with you.”
G+D: When did you know that you wanted to take parental leave?
Markus: It only really dawned on me after the birth that I wanted to take some parental leave for myself. Watching your own child grow up is something so unique that as a father you don’t want to miss it. I deliberately deferred my parental leave until six and then nine months later, as that’s when the child really starts responding to you.
I learned this from the experience of some of my management colleagues. Conclusion: I absolutely wouldn’t want to miss out on parental leave. I can only speak for myself, but I would recommend the experience to anyone.