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Tools & Resources You Can Use

Learn from other organizations' experiences, find out where your organization is on the work-life spectrum, and promote its involvement in work-life programs. These are all ways you and your organization can participation in National Work & Family Month.

  • What You Can Do
  • News You Can Use
  • Work-Life in Action
  • Give the Gift of Education: Start a 529 Plan

    Sending a child to college has become a major financial commitment, like saving for retirement. With costs rising each year, the longer you wait to get started, the harder it will be to save to cover expenses. That's why [INSERT COMPANY NAME] provides employees a 529 Plan to conveniently save money for future education through payroll deduction. You can invest as little as [INSERT DOLLAR AMOUNT] per month from your paycheck to give the gift of education to a child, grandchild, nephew, niece or even yourself. You can enroll at any time. For more information on the [INSERT COMPANY NAME] 529 Plan visit [INSERT VENDOR website] or contact [INSERT NAME OF HR CONTACT AND PHONE NUMBER].




    Do You Need an EAP?

    Are you suffering from work-related stress, substance abuse, relationship or marital conflict, parent/child conflict, depression, anxiety, unresolved grief, or domestic violence? Most of us have had times in our lives where situations, problems or difficulties affect our personal lives, and perhaps, effectiveness on the job. [INSERT COMPANY NAME] values its employees and realizes that as personal problems increase, performance may decrease. The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a benefit designed to help you and your family with personal problems.

    Counseling is short-term and confidential and is offered to you and your dependents at no charge from [INSERT EAP COMPANY NAME]. Counselors are experienced professionals who can help with personal, family and workplace problems. In addition, counselors can help with referrals to doctors and to legal and financial resources. Call [INSERT PHONE NUMBER] to schedule an appointment.




    Get Personalized Help Through the Health Care Maze

    No more run-around, red tape or worry! A health advocate — a free benefit from [INSERT COMPANY NAME] — offers one-on-one help anytime you have a health care or insurance-related issue. When you call the toll-free number, you'll be assigned a highly experienced Personal Health Advocate (PHA) who knows the ins and outs of health care. These nurses, medical directors and insurance experts do the legwork to sort out medical bills, locate specialists, find eldercare and more.
    When you call, you'll be connected to your own PHA who can help you:

    • Find the best doctors and leading hospitals and get you appointments for medical visits
    • Locate services for your elderly parents
    • Schedule tests and timely appointments with specialists
    • Secure a second opinion
    • Resolve insurance claims and billing issues
    • Transfer medical records
    • Covers you, your spouse, dependent children, parents and parents-in-law
    • Is completely confidential
    • And more.

    Call [INSERT HEALTH ADVOCATE COMPANY NAME], toll free [INSERT PHONE NUMBER] and you or your covered family member will be connected to your own PHA to begin working on your health care-related issues.




    When Should You Retire?

    Would it be better for you to begin receiving Social Security benefits early with a smaller monthly amount or wait for a larger monthly payment later that you may not receive as long? The answer is highly personal and depends on a number of factors. To help you make the right choice, try out the new Retirement Estimator from the U.S. Social Security Association, a new online calculator that provides immediate and personalized benefit estimates to help you plan for retirement.

    Conveniently tied to your actual Social Security earnings record, the Retirement Estimator eliminates the need for you to manually key in years of earnings information. It is interactive and allows you to compare different retirement options by changing your "stop work" dates or expected future earnings.




    Live Happier and Healthier

    Tired of dieting and not getting the results you're looking for? SparkPeople is a great free website that will help you learn how to maintain healthy eating habits as well as an exercise program that works for you. The program offers informative articles and interactive tools, such as fitness trackers and meal plans, and also includes virtual support groups to share ideas and thoughts with fellow members and health experts. Visit SparkPeople for more information.




    Get the Facts on College Health and Safety

    Is your child heading off to college soon? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has developed a comprehensive web page with important information for parents and students including health and safety tips, issues, action steps, and hotlines to help your child stay safe and healthy in college.




    Caregiver Stress FAQs

    During any given year, there are more than 44 million Americans who provide unpaid care to an elderly or disabled person 18 years or older. Altogether, informal caregivers provide 80% of the long-term care in the United States. If you or someone you know is a caregiver, check out the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Caregiver Stress FAQs and to access more information about caregiver stress.




    Find a Farmers Market Near You

    Farmers markets are gaining popularity as consumers increasingly appreciate locally grown foods and other products, according to the U.S. government. In addition to finding fresh, good-tasting foods like handmade cheeses, organic fruits and vegetables, and humanely raised meats, customers can get to know their local farmers and engage in their community. Check out the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farmers Market Locator to find one near you.




    Do You Know a Mom or Dad-to-Be?

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has an online toolkit with downloadable information on pregnancy do's and don'ts, hospital packing lists, babysitter information form, and much more to help prepare parents for baby's arrival.




    Get the Facts on Infertility

    About 10% of women (6.1 million) in the United States ages 15-44 have difficulty getting pregnant or staying pregnant, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Learn more about infertility causes, treatments and assisted reproductive technology (ART) from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' web page.




    Test Your Sun Safety IQ

    Sun safety is never out of season. Activities keep us outside all year long, and the sun doesn't take a break. Take the American Cancer Society's 9-question quiz and find out your sun safety IQ. To learn more about sun safety, visit a special U.S. Food and Drug Administration's website or download a handy brochure about how to keep harmful rays from burning you and your family.




    What Should Your Plate Have On It

    Figuring out what and how much to eat just got easier. The USDA has recently replaced the traditional food pyramid with what is now call MyPlate. Want to know the amount of each food group you need daily? Go to ChooseMyPlate.gov and visit each food group page to enter your age, sex and physical activity level, and receive information on your specific nutritional needs. The USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP) works to improve the health and well-being of Americans by developing and promoting dietary guidance that links scientific research to the nutrition needs of consumers.




    Bike to Work Safely

    Biking to work is fun and great exercise, but make sure you're safe when you ride. About 57 million Americans ride bicycles, traveling on the same roadways that are occupied by millions of motor vehicles that are larger, faster and heavier. In 2011, 677 bicyclists were killed and an additional 48,000 were injured in motor vehicle traffic crashes.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has developed "Bicycle Activity Safety Kit" with the most important things you (and your family) can do to have a safe ride.

  • Still wondering how you can best celebrate National Work & Family Month? Following are examples of how some companies have celebrated in past years.

    Living the Seal of Distinction >>

    “National Work & Family Month is about celebrating progress. Work-life balance is our business, but it’s also the foundation of our identity — both who we are and what we do. Throughout October, we’re promoting and emphasizing all the resources employees across the globe have to support themselves, their families and their careers. Everybody’s excited about it, across the U.S. and beyond!”
    — Stephen Stanko, vice president, human resources, at Workplace Options

    For National Work & Family Month, Workplace Options put together a celebration and education program demonstrating why this leader in customized work-life and employee support benefits was a recipient of the AWLP Work-Life Seal of Distinction.

    The HR department pulled together a team of individuals from disciplines across the company to collaborate on a calendar of events. The final product is a schedule that highlights a different topic and category of benefits each week to promote the resources available to all employees, both office-based and virtual, around the world.

    Workplace Options kicked off the month with a joint message from Dean Debnam, CEO, and Alan King, president and COO, which explained the importance of work-life balance and reinforced the value it brings both inside and outside the office. The company also surveyed employees at the beginning of the month to identify which benefits are most valued and which programs need to be altered or created to meet the changing needs of the employee population.

    Each week in October, Workplace Options:

    • Hosted webinars (one topic, three times per week, scheduled at different times during lunch hours) open to all employees. The topics corresponded with the monthly calendar, and content was specific to the benefits available through the company for employees and families.
    • Communicated information about updated benefits and specific services featured for each week. These were distributed through internal channels, emails and physically displayed in common areas throughout each office.
    • Brought in outside resources to facilitate special events (e.g., food trucks at lunch time, local firefighters for free child identification services). A “family wall” was also established in each office where employees were encouraged to post pictures of them and their families along with stories of how the company’s benefits have made an impact on their lives.

    The calendar of events included:

    • Week 1: Overview of all employee benefits from company leadership and the HR team
    • Week 2: Health and wellness initiatives
    • Week 3: Dependent care, counseling and relationship services
    • Week 4: Personal growth, volunteerism and other work-life services.

    Multiple Communication Channels to Send the Work-Life Message >>

    In honor of National Work & Family Month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) planned several activities that crossed numerous communications channels to obtain the optimal visibility among employees. Among the activities planned for October were:

    • Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack was featured in a video proclamation statement affirming the USDA’s commitment to work-life balance.
    • An all-employee email announced 2012 activities planned for National Work & Family Month.
    • Three webinars were scheduled for all employees on the topics of:
      • Balancing work and family;
      • The USDA’s newly revamped nursing mothers program;
      • Telework.
    • The USDA had an open call for work-life testimonials and, based on results, published stories, examples and successes about how USDA’s work-life programs have affected the lives of employees across the country.
    • USDA Connect featured an internal work and family month blog fest.
    • Employees and other representatives from across the federal government, work-life community and the media were invited to an open house that offered several components:
      • Telework Talk and Tour: Tour the USDA hotel/shared office space and chat with program managers about how telework is functioning across the Department of Agriculture;
      • Nursing Mothers Room Tour: Sneak a peek at the USDA’s newly revamped nursing mothers’ room, watch a video about the new nursing mothers’ program and its updated initiatives, and hear from USDA employees about how this program positively affects the lives of working mothers;
      • Walk of Wellness: Participate in tours of the USDA Fitness Facility that is offered to USDA employees at reduced fees. Tour the two cafeterias and benchmark the nutritional label campaign offerings of healthy foods, snacks and beverages. Also, take a walk through the People’s Garden;
      • Open House Exhibit: Tour the Whitten Building Patio to learn more about USDA work-life and wellness programs at all agencies.

    Launching a Campaign to Celebrate the Month >>

    During National Work & Family Month, The George Washington University formally launched its Breastfeeding Friendly University Project (BFUP). A university-wide collaborative effort to support breastfeeding families in the workplace, community and hospital, the project also gives students in the Schools of Medicine, Nursing, and Public Health the tools they need to support breastfeeding in their future endeavors.

    The university also hosted its annual Work-Life Fair during the month to help connect faculty and staff with the many work-life benefits and resources available to them through the university and in the local area. Throughout the month, extra effort was made to promote the university’s large and diverse suite of work-life benefits through emails, social media and presentations.


    Work-Life Across the Generations >>

    National Work & Family Month coincided with the start of the academic year at the University of California, Davis. Fall convocation occured the week prior, making it the perfect time to publicize the university’s work-life portfolio and to kick off new programming.

    The university’s fall edition of “WorkLife and Wellness News,” published in October, was dedicated to National Work & Family Month with a focus on elder and adult dependent care. At the other end of the age spectrum, children at the on-campus child development centers will participate in Jumpstart’s Read for the Record Campaign for the most children and adults reading the same book on the same day around the world in support of school readiness. Back-to-school nights and harvest festivals offered opportunities to celebrate the season with family and friends.

    Employees and students also could find information, resources and support for work-life effectiveness across the domains of self, career, family and community:


    Some Work and Some Play >>

    A 2012 and 2013 Work-Life Seal of Distinction recipient, Bright Horizons knows and celebrates the idea of work-life effectiveness every day. For the 2012 National Work & Family Month, the company’s employee volunteer group, “Better Together,” planned a couple of events that focus on fun at work, including a “make your own caramel apple” day and a Halloween costume contest.

 
 
 
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