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Benefits to attract, engage and retain top talent.

What are the Flying Nannies of Wall Street?

Posted by Patrick Ball on 2 Dec 2015

Is bringing nannies on business trips a new trend in work-like benefits?

Flying nannies makes for a fantastic headline, doesn’t it?

When the private equity firm KKR announced it would allow employees to bring babies and caregivers on business trips, Bloomberg’s headline heralded Wall Street’s “gilded” maternity perk, and Fortune initially called it “Wall Street’s Gold-plated Maternity Perk” … before changing to something a little less identical to Bloomberg’s.

This week, Credit Suisse became the latest Wall Street firm to roll out a rich new parental leave package, including 20 weeks of paid parental leave for parents providing primary care and paying for nannies to travel with parents and infants on business trips.

So what’s up with Wall Street firms paying to fly nannies with families on business trips? Is this a new trend in work-life benefits? We’ll explain.

  1. Wall Street’s Watching Silicon Valley
    And competing with progressive tech companies for today’s top young talent. Credit Suisse’s head of benefits for the Americas, Elizabeth Donnelly, said this pretty explicitly in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. “Our competition and the landscape has changed,” she said. “We look at Google and other tech firms are doing and we see that they are able to attract the kind of talent that Credit Suisse also wants. We realized we needed to make changes.” In Care.com’s recent Better Benefits survey, nearly two-thirds of respondents said they would leave their job for a comparable position with better benefits. So, when tech companies are loading up on work-life benefits in the so-called “arms race” for the best and brightest employees, it makes sense that Wall Street would follow suit.

    RELATED: 7 Companies with Innovative Parental Leave Policies 

  2. A Progressive Approach to Retention
    The transition from workaholic to working parent can be a hugely stressful experience, and a byproduct of this challenge has been high attrition rates among new moms. In response to this trend – and in an effort to retain valuable female employees – leading organizations have been investing in initiatives geared toward supporting new parents in the workplace. Paid parental leave is the most obvious example, but progressive employers have begun introducing formalized transition programs, employee resource groups and child care benefits. At an international banking firm like Credit Suisse, flying nannies on business trips might fit the mold.

    RELATED: 15 Companies with Work-Life Benefits Your Employees Dream About 
  1. It’s About Child Care
    Once you get past the “gilded” exterior of the flying nannies, it’s easy to see what these work-life benefits are really about: child care. There is a co-dependency between care and work that cuts across all economic strata – parents need care to be able to work, and they need to work to be able to afford quality, reliable care. The Better Benefits survey revealed 90 percent of employees have left work, and 30 percent cut back by six or more hours per week due to family responsibilities. When companies help employees find solutions to their family care needs, they’re also helping those employees to be more productive and engaged in their jobs. According to a survey of Care.com’s corporate clients, employees with access to work-life benefits, like backup care or help hiring a caregiver, were able to work five more hours per week and five additional days per year.

    RELATED: 15 Times When Working Parents Need Backup Care

Today’s  best-in-class companies are finding that work-life benefits – even more than a giant paycheck – are becoming an increasingly effective way to not only attract and retain  top talent, but to unlock the potential of our modern workforce. Investing in employees is a key to becoming an employer of choice and driving results.

And, at the end of the day, that’s what the flying nannies of Wall Street represent – an investment in employees.  

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