Addressing the Work-Life Interface: Strategic Implications for Small Business
Although some research has assessed the involvement of corporate America in work-life policies and programs, Iii/le is known about the involvement of small businesses in this area. The purpose of this study was lo learn more about how small businesses are responding to work-life issues and to examine the relationship of various organizational characteristics to the implementation of work-life policies and programs. The results indicate that small businesses have responded to work-life issues and concerns in a piecemeal manner and have been relatively non-responsive overall, even though participating would carry little cost. Traditional economic benefits (e.g., health insurance) were most likely to be offered, even limited care for dependents (e.g., resource and referral services) least likely. Further, fewer than I 0% of the firms have conducted any kind of formal assessment of work-life needs and issues. We suggest that a lack of strategic attention by small businesses to the work-life interface is short-sighted in view of quality and productivity issues, changing demographics and the recruitment and retention of well-qualified employees.