October marks the fourth annual National Work & Family Month, an honor that Congress commissioned in 2003 because, it said, "supporting a balance between work and personal life is in the best interest of national worker productivity."
Celebrate it at your organization by drawing attention to the work/life benefits you already offer, or to introduce new perks. Some ideas:
1. Launch a work/life survey to solicit employee opinions on programs that your organization should expand, add or discontinue.
2. Conduct a work/life "quiz." Design a fun quiz to raise awareness about your work/life offerings. Make a list of work/life benefits and ask employees to check off which ones your organization offers. Put the names of employees with correct answers in a drawing for a prize.
3. Organize a "care fair." Offer employees refreshments and inexpensive gifts as they walk from table to table to learn about your organization's programs for child care, elder care, financial, retirement, health, stress and recreation.
4. Invite speakers from community child care and elder care organizations to talk to employees during brown-bag lunches once a week in October.
5. Conduct focus groups of employees to learn what they want and need from the organization when it comes to work/life benefits.
6. Launch a pilot program for teleworkers, compressed workweeks or flextime.
7. Hold a "best boss" contest, and reward the supervisors whom employees identify as most flexible when it comes to work/life requests.
8. Start a listserv for employees interested in chatting with co-workers about child care, elder care or other work/life concerns.
9. Ask your city council to declare October as local Work & Family Month.
For more information and tips about commemorating National Work & Family Month, visit the Alliance for Work-Life Progress Web site at www.awlp.org (click on box in left column).