Ideas: Organizational Ideas To Blend Work And Family

This idea is excerpted from Barbara’s book “Balancing Acts – More Than 250 Guiltfree, Creative Ideas to Blend your Work and your Life” (Dearborn 2003)

Start special recognition for spouses and families. John Farrell, senior director for Carlson Marketing Group (CMG), a Minneapolis-based relationship marketing company, says, “Awards must inspire increased performance, must engage the family, and must change behavior.” Any time an organization recognizes the sacrifice and contributions of the employees’ family, they are helping create a feeling of teamwork, both within the family and with the organization itself. When family members feel included, appreciated, and a part of the mission of the company, they are much more willing to support the employee in his/her work. This not only helps build loyalty to the company, but it also increases productivity by reducing strife at home.

  • After a big project is completed, send something to employees’ homes to say “thank you” for the extra time the employee had to spend at work. This could include gift certificates, flowers, candy, cards. This will also help them to feel involved in the business and the mission of the organization.
  • The Four Seasons Hotel near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, honors two families each month by providing a special lunch in the employee dining room and a tour of the facility. When the family is included and acknowledged, a sense of pride and mutual respect usually follows.
  • Send a gift to employees’ families for Thanksgiving or Christmas. A number of my clients have sent my book CARE Packages for the Home—Dozens of Ways to Regenerate Spirit Where You Live to all their employees’ homes as a Christmas or Thanksgiving gift, along with a letter of appreciation from the CEO or other senior person. This supports the Baxter Labs global study in which the one thing employees most wanted was “to be respected as whole human beings with a life outside of work.” The book contains ideas for single people, single parents, blended families, extended families, grandparents, and retirees as well as traditional families.
  • Honor employees’ spouses and partners. Travis White, the CEO of Centillium Technology, decided to build loyalty and avert high turnover by involving the family. So he invited employees’ spouses and partners, the ones who suffer most from the overtime work of their significant other, especially in a start-up company, to a Saturday party. He told the employees themselves to stay home and take care of the kids! After a short talk about the business, he surprised each of the partners by giving them 250 shares each of Centillium stock. This delightful strategy gave the spouses a definite stake in the work their partners are doing as well as honoring their support and commitment to their significant others.

Recognize children and spouse accomplishments. Start an “I’m Proud” bulletin board for employees to post accomplishments of their families.

Use employees’ families and children in your ads. Instead of hiring models, use your own employees and their families to advertise your products or services. This not only promotes authenticity, but it also builds employee buy-in and loyalty.

Barbara Glanz Biography

A member of the prestigious Speaker Hall of Fame and one of fewer than 700 Certified Speaking Professionals worldwide, Barbara Glanz, CSP, CPAE, works with organizations to improve morale, retention and service and with people who want to rediscover the joy in their work and in their lives. She is the first speaker on record to have spoken on all 7 continents and in all 50 states. Known as "the business speaker who speaks to your heart as well as to your head," Barbara is the author of twelve books including The Simple Truths of Service Inspired by Johnny the Bagger®, CARE Packages for the Workplace, and 180 Ways to Spread Contagious Enthusiasm™. Voted "best keynote presenter you have heard or used" by Meetings & Conventions Magazine, Barbara uses her Master’s degree in Adult Learning to design programs that cause behavior change. She lives and breathes her personal motto: “Spreading Contagious Enthusiasm™” and can be reached at and

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