Several businesses and organizations in the Enid area were recognized as family-positive workplaces this past week.

The Potts Family Foundation in Oklahoma City has a new program that certifies workplaces that follow a plan to provide ways for workers to balance their family lives and work lives.

The initiative is part of the foundation’s OK 25 by 25 program that is working to help make Oklahoma a Top 25 state for children by 2025.

Businesses and organizations in the area recently recognized included Youth and Family Services of North Central Oklahoma; Collins, Butler & Co.; Enid Public Schools; Garfield County Criminal Justice Authority; St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center; and United Way of Enid and Northwest Oklahoma. Several other businesses and organizations in Enid and Northwest Oklahoma previously have been recognized.

COVID-19 has brought a number of challenges to the workplace, and one of those is the need for employees to continue to be able to do their jobs, even as other demands put pressure on the workplace.

A family-positive workplace or employer is one whose policies make it possible for employees to more easily balance family and work, and to fulfill both their family and work obligations. Thus, an employer might offer flexible work schedules and locations, child care, support for elder care, family leave options and other family-positive benefits to employees.

Family positive workplace practices benefit employers, families and society. Research shows that employers gain in employee recruitment, retention, loyalty and productivity, all of which contribute to the bottom line. Families gain in the ability to balance work and family obligations, reduced stress and better quality of family life and life in general. The society gains because family-positive policies lead to more stable families with time to contribute to their communities, and better outcomes for children.

Potts Family Foundation with its interest in advancing Family-Positive Workplace Practices is working with the Oklahoma Child Care Resources & Referral Association and Sunbeam Family Services to offer a special program/presentation along with ideas on how to enrich support for employees with young children.

Businesses and organizations interested in pursuing this certification can find several resources on the OK 25 X 25 website at https://rb.gy/4a7yxx.

As we’ve said, COVID-19 has upended the traditional workplace and workforce model. As stated on the foundation’s website, “Organizations that respond to the realities of employees’ day-to-day lives will be ahead of the curve. The ‘as-if’ organization — the company that continues to operate as if its employees had no outside lives — will be history.”

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