ABSTRACT

We continue our consideration of the trickle-down effects of work–family decision-making by examining decisions made by organizations or employers (we use the two terms synonymously). As noted in Chapter 2, organizational work–family decisions represent decisions about programs and practices that are informed by consideration of their employees’ needs to meet work and family responsibilities. These decisions generally fall into three categories: (1) the establishment of formal family-supportive programs and, if so, which ones; (2) the encouragement of supervisors and co-workers to provide informal family-related support to employees; and (3) the development of a family-supportive organizational culture. In this chapter, we discuss the three types of work–family decisions, explain what motivates employers to make these decisions, and examine the consequences of the decisions not only for employees and their families, but also for employers. We conclude the chapter by identifying smart choices that employers can make to relieve employees from having to make hard choices.