More Companies Developing Sense of “Family”

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<p><strong>Purchase, N.Y. &mdash; July 26</strong><br />More companies are developing a sense of &ldquo;family&rdquo; among employees than five years ago, but even more businesses should be, according to a survey by Sirota Survey Intelligence.<br /><br />Sixty-two percent of human resource professionals feel companies are promoting a greater sense of family in their organizations than five years ago, but 79 percent said more employers should be doing so, according to the survey of 150 HR professionals.</p><p>One of the biggest ways employers are fostering a sense of family is in helping employees deal with stress from work and/or family issues through employee assistance programs (EAPs).&nbsp; </p><p>Eighty-one percent of HR professionals said more employers have programs to assist employees in dealing with their personal problems than five years ago.<br /><br />Although 61 percent of HR professionals feel employers have allocated additional resources to helping workers cope with stress, 74 percent feel organizations should be doing still more.<br /><br />EAPs were introduced in the 1970s to assist employees whose performance was suffering because of alcoholism, but they have since branched out to include personal and family problems.<br /><br />&ldquo;Employers realize they need to help employees cope with stress in a more comprehensive way if they want to maximize workers&rsquo; performance and contributions to the organization,&rdquo; said Douglas Klein, Sirota Survey Intelligence president. &quot;Also, as more corporations realize the importance of a &lsquo;single moral compass&rsquo; to guide their core business and obligations to society, employees and other constituencies, they are more likely to focus on the quality of employees&rsquo; personal lives, as well as their work situations.&rdquo; <br /><br />Human resource professionals surveyed were most favorable about assistance programs that have clearly defined paths to aiding workers in improving their performance when they are suffering from debilitating conditions such as alcoholism or depression, Klein said.<br /><br />&ldquo;However, HR professionals observe less support among employers for programs that would require management to be more flexible, more managerial discretion to be exercised or individualized solutions such as flexible work arrangements to be adopted,&rdquo; he said.</p>

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