Being a family-friendly company is not inviting your employees’ kids to a barbecue or asking about them every now and then. It means really caring for those families and their circumstances. It means understanding that babies get sick and someone has to stay home taking care of them. It means sometimes dads and mums will be late. It means respecting weekends because during 2 days a week, your employees spend quality time with their loved ones.
THAT is being family friendly. Any other thing is being a hypocrite. If you, big boss, neglect your own family, that’s fine, it’s your choice. But I won’t ever put ANY job, no matter how well they pay me, above my wife and son. NEVER. Because guess what, we only have one life to live, and I choose a different kind of wealth. I choose the luxury of time over expensive cars and houses. If I wanted to be rich and alone, I would probably have 3 companies, because I do have the will and knowledge to do so. But I haven’t done it because I very much prefer to spend 8 hours a day doing what I like (and you paying for that), then going home to my family.
If you don’t understand that, as I said, it’s your choice, but I don’t want to work for you. You can be my customer maybe, but I won’t trust you to be my employer, because your values suck.
PRO-tip: If you let go someone because his/her family life is not compatible with your world domination plan, at least have the guts to let them know the real reason. Don’t use cheap excuses, and please don’t blame them or “their performance”. The problem is you. Embrace your true nature, it’s the least you can do.
PS: This is a total rant, 100%. Written after working for an Spanish company, a country where sadly this problem is very common. Old school managers in Spain think a good employee is that guy sitting more hours at the office. Is he browsing Facebook, maybe? Watching porn? They don’t know, but the employee is there, long after the others are gone. And they like it. Obviously it doesn’t work like that, and my country has a lot to learn. That’s why I work for international companies with an office in Spain, so I can benefit from mature, real management.