Is it possible to have a family-friendly business without compromising your company’s bottom line? Entrepreneur Paula Pennypacker, founder and president of Just for Redheads in Scottsdale, Arizona believes that companies can lose out if they don’t.
“Finding good, long-lasting employess is the biggest challenge facing small business, and moms with children make great employees so long as they are allowed flexibility,” says Pennypacker, mother of a 7 year old son.
How does she make her business family-friendly?
1. Offering flex-time so work schedules are coordinated with school. “Moms come to work after the children are dropped off at school and are home in time to pick them up,” explains Pennypacker.
2. Getting creative with flex-time. At her beauty products company, Pennypacker lets the woman who runs the shipping department take summers off to be with her three children until they return to school. She then hires a school teacher who has summers off and no children to pick up the slack during that timeframe.
3. Giving time off when it really counts. When children are sick or have an appointment, employees at Just for Redheads get as much time off as they need.
Why did Pennypacker make her business family-friendly?
Says Pennypacker, “As Jackie Kennedy once said: ‘If you mess up your children, nothing else you do really matters.’ To me, there is no ‘downside’ to this flex-time arrangement. The result has been long-term employees who know that we care about their children.”
When I asked her about business owners who might feel they will lose time, productivity and money implementing flex-time, Pennypacker didn’t mince words. “Businesses that feel that way are probably run by men. Enough said.”
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