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LifeBalance Blog

Turning Human Capital Back Into Human Beings

The challenges for working families are very real. According to President Obama, speaking at the White House Summit on Working Families, June 23, 2014, “Parents who work full-time should earn enough to pay the bills, and they should be able to head off to work every day knowing that their children are in good hands. Workers who give their all should know that if they need a little flexibility, they can have it -- because their employers understand that it’s hard to be productive if you’ve got a sick kid at home or a childcare crisis.”

Working families often face the difficult decision of choosing between work or family when a crisis occurs. In the end, one will suffer if a solid support network is not available. And as employers face a time of “talent wars,” it becomes inevitable that employers who support working families will be the employer of choice – improving recruitment, retention and productivity. Part of this support needed is working to remove the obstacles that working parents face.

Some employers who are focusing on families were highlighted by the President at the Summit. For example:

  • JetBlue has a flexible, work-from-home plan for its customer service representatives. They found this program led to happier and more productive employees while lowering their costs.

  • Google increased paid leave for new parents – moms and dads – to five months when they realized that women were leaving the company at twice the rate that men left. One of the reasons was a maternity leave policy that wasn’t competitive enough.

  • Cisco estimates that by letting their employees telecommute, they save more than $275 million each year.

It is easy to see how these family-friendly policies help families, but they also provide an economic return for the employer. The key to staying competitive in our global economy is talent. Companies who don’t recognize this and significantly change the structures and processes they use to recruit, engage and retain staff will continue to lose their competitive edge.

On September 11, 2014, Lifetrack will be co-hosting, along with Career Life Alliance Services, the 4th annual Work-Life & Flexibility Expo at St. Mary’s University Event Center in Minneapolis. This year’s Expo theme is “Turning Human Capital Back Into Human Beings.” By attending the Expo, participants will learn new strategies in the areas of employee engagement, health and wellness, and leadership development.

Who should attend? Professionals in Human Resources, Operations, Diversity & Inclusion, Facilities, Work/Life, Health and Wellness, Organizational Development, Information Technology, EEO & AA Managers and other Senior Business & Line Leaders.

Mike McKinley will open the General Session with a keynote that will challenge attendees to rethink their value proposition. We will then move into a one of a kind conference experience for professionals in the business of developing the 21st century workforce. Mike will facilitate an innovative morning session - Network Solution Forum. The Solution Forum enables all participants to engage in a discussion relevant to them and to work together to create extraordinary outcomes.

Participants will choose from a variety of breakout sessions and end the day by hearing from a panel of CEO’s about leadership priorities in the 21st Century, facilitated by Angela Davis of WCCO. As stated by President Obama, “The strength of our economy rests on whether we’re getting the most out of our nation’s talent, whether we’re making it possible for every citizen to contribute to our growth and prosperity. We do better when we field an entire team, not just part of a team. “

Join the team. Attend the Work-Life & Flexibility Expo. Make a difference for working families.

For additional information and registration, visit

Beth Quist, Director of Education Services


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