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Family-Friendly Means Sustainable-Business-Friendly

Among SEED NM’s core principles is the idea that sustainability in business is more than than “being green.” Sustainable business practices not only protect the planet, they also value workers and strengthen communities. The discussion around family-friendly business is especially timely right now, when many employers have mentioned difficulties in finding and keeping the good people who are so important to driving an organization’s success. “Group highlights benefits to employers who embrace family-friendly practices,” a recent article in The Albuquerque Journal, shows how these practices can interrelate, enhancing businesses’ bottom lines through the retention, productivity and well-being of employees.

Such outstanding commitments to family-friendly practices remain rare, however. Policies that “support infrastructure and resources for small and local businesses beyond access to capital: broadband access, language access, access to financial and legal professionals, mentorship and training opportunities,” as well as healthcare, would make a world of difference and help employers across the board. That’s why we advocate for them in our Mission and continue our work in advancing beneficial public policy.

At Kei and Molly Textiles in Albuquerque […] there are plenty of family-friendly benefits for employees. Among them:

• Three weeks of paid vacation between Christmas and New Years Day so staff can have quality time for their families,

• An annual $500 Wellness Benefit for any health or education expenses – that includes paying employees up to two hours per child to attend parent teacher conferences,

• 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. work hours that allow moms to start work after they drop off their kids for school and to pick them up after school,

•Investment in leadership development to increase job skills and wages.

Kei and Molly Textiles is not the usual American company. A supporter of immigrants and refugees, it has a staff of 13 women who were born in 10 different countries and in all speak 18 different languages. So other benefits include a monthly potluck to celebrate native foods and cultures, language development on-site to help employees prepare for the test for U.S. citizenship and a volunteer who helps employees when they run into problems, such as help registering their children in school or understanding the U.S. health care system. […]

“The choice between being able to make a living and being able to care for your family is real and faced by thousands of New Mexicans every day,” [Giovanna Rossi, founder and CEO of Family Friendly New Mexico] said. “Family Friendly policies have proven to attract the best workers and engender more loyalty, dedication and productivity in the workplace.”

Those policies, she said, “will yield enormous long-term benefits for both employees and employers.”

The Albuquerque Journal, Jan. 29, 2022

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