Developing and nurturing stable family virtues have been described as major factor towards enhancing productivity and achieving sustainable business growth.
Stakeholders who met at a conference organised by the Institute for Work and Family Integration (IWFI, in collaboration with Lagos Business School (LBS) in Lagos stressed that family plays an important role in the development of any organisation, adding that the evolution of a stable family life and values, remains the bedrock of the future society.
Speaking on the theme: “Work Family Integration: Corporate family responsibility in challenging times”, the stakeholders noted that work and family are two different complimentary spheres of human life; and when they are properly balanced, make human happier less stressed and more productive because the family prepares man for work and restore daily, to face more aggressive world of work.
Dean, LBS, Enase Okonedo, disclosed that “since last year, the economy has been tough, our incomes are not stretching as far as it could and there is a lot of pressure. Usually when companies are faced with this situation of difficult and harsh economic times, they look at the pecking orders and unfortunately one of the first things they do is to consider layoff of staff and cut off on human capital development.”
The decision, Okonedo said put pressures on the family. Often times it is necessity that has led to most households dual income families. For those who may be fortunate not to be caught in the layoff, there is even more pressure, because in these times, people are anxious about the prospects of being laid off. Therefore they expect more and put more of themselves into the workplace in other to ensure that they are not unfortunate to be laid off.
She noted that the challenging times faced now are challenging not only for corporations that are struggling to survive, but also for families as well who are also struggling to survive.
“For corporations, we need to be discussing whether or not this is the appropriate things to do, that should be the first thing and there other ways which corporations has dealt with it not just sticking with the practices of laying off,” she said.
Okonedo described the collaboration of the school with IWFI as meaningful and worthwhile which is in line with the course of developing managers. We get into partnerships and relationships, most times we have business angle and the commercial side of it.
“A lot of these talks about management practices across the various functional areas management. But this collaboration with IWFI is one that speaks to the core of the human person because it speaks about the dignity of a human person which is very important and how it should be taken into consideration of work practices. In other words that consideration should drive a lot of what it is that we do across businesses.
“We place a lot of emphasis on family because we believe that as professionals, one needs to have healthy and supportive family in order to attain full productivity, she said.
Chairman, IWFI, Charles Osezua, opined that with the current economic reality and the challenges of business sustainability confronting managers, the temptations of downgrading corporate family responsibility is heightened.
This increases the challenges of keeping a balance between work and family, as man and woman grapple with the increased stress, with changing demography in the workplace. This creates a vicious circle as the chances of achieving increased productivity by the employer is diminished by the stress engendered by the environment.
He said, the focus of this year’s theme is borne out of enabling business owners, managers and employees understand that no decision of theirs is neutral and also to appreciate the impact on the company, employees and their families.
Culled from The Guardian Online – www.guardian.ng