April 6, 2023 - Juggling the responsibilities of parenting and work is never simple, but an employer who is sensitive to that challenge can certainly make life a little easier.
Just ask Matt, manager of Quality and Mission Assurance at Aerojet Rocketdyne's (AR) Defense Headquarters in Huntsville, and the father of two young children. "The flexibility of benefits we have and the ability to accomplish some of my work remotely has enabled me in some situations to schedule work around my family rather than my family around work," he said.
Workplace flexibility along with other benefits, notably paid parental leave, have earned AR recognition as a Best Place for Working Parents® designation in the Huntsville area. The recognition was granted earlier this year based on the company's responses to a survey created by a national group of business leaders, who serve as the steering committee on The Best Place for Working Parents® organization, which encourages family friendly policies in the workplace.
Tim Lingo, senior director of Human Resources at AR's Defense Business Unit, cited several other family-friendly benefits, including healthcare coverage, adoption and fertility assistance as well as "mother's rooms" where moms can express breastmilk for their babies in comfort and privacy. The paid parental leave policy, a recent addition to AR's benefits portfolio, provides up to eight weeks for moms and four weeks for dads after their child is born.
"This recognition speaks to our desire to have very inclusive workplaces that take into consideration the needs of available talent in the area," Tim said. "It opens up the aperture for people who work full time and need flexibility to care for their families."
When Matt joined AR in 2010, parenting and related workplace benefits were not at the top of his mind. But that's changed: He and his wife are now the parents of an infant and a two-year old.
As dad to two under the age of three, Matt, manager of Quality and Mission Assurance, at Aerojet Rocketdyne's Defense HQ in Huntsville, has first-hand experience with the company's parental benefits and flexible work policies.
While citing as helpful paid parental leave and flexible spending accounts for child rearing expenses like daycare, Matt said that the ability to coordinate with his manager on working part of his day from home, while still meeting business needs, has really allowed him to manage the sometimes-competing demands of work and parenting. "We can get everyone off to day care in the morning and enjoy family time in the evening," he said.
Fostering a family-friendly environment benefits AR in the form of employee retention and focus, Matt added.
"When people know their families are taken care of, they can approach work with the frame of mind to do their best," Matt said. "The Best Place for Working Parents® designation is a reflection of the company's values, and the working environment and values we have make AR a great place to be."