Wait, what? A big bank did something good?

Who among us has not felt that pang of a life seriously out of balance? Most of the warm stories about work/life balance tell us about someone who chose relationship health over a great career. The corporate monster is almost always portrayed as the wicked enemy.

So it is with great delight that we pass on news that Fifth Third Bank offers maternity concierge service to their employees. What is that you may ask? I do not know, but every young woman I asked did, and they lit up at the idea. (It’s a service to make it easier to balance the demands of work with those of a new baby, duh.)*

We did not have such a wonderful thing when my children were new, so my wife and I juggled and finally gave in. She stayed home, then I did, then she did. It cost us financially, but we’d do it again; “worth it” is our conclusion. Maybe my kids won’t have to juggle as much should they decide to have children of their own someday. Fifth Third gives me hope.

Now that it’s been discovered that working away from children and family more than 50 hours per week deteriorates home life, people have started demanding more balance. We can thank the Millennial generation for that enormous contribution.

Balancing work and the rest of one’s life is tough. We applaud companies that care enough to help their employees stay upright.

Balancing benefits is also tough—how much is enough? CEOs and HR teams tell us the benefit game of balancing employee needs with benefit costs is one of the most difficult for them to master. It seems we’re all balancing.

Questions for The Ethics Award

  1. How does your company decide what benefits to offer?
  2. What do you think should be done to curb health care costs to allow room for other benefits like a maternity concierge?
  3. How do you decide how much of a voice employees get in the benefits balancing act?
  4. We believe there’s no such thing as work/life balance, but only a continual balancing act. What have you found helpful to stay upright?

*Wall Street Journal, 5 Apr 2017