Julie Killen, senior consultant, Enterprise Change Management, Northern Trust
1.How do Bring Your Child to Work Day’s engage your staff?
Supporting our employees (or partners as we call them) in having a good work life balance is a fundamental pillar of Northern Trust’s culture. Northern Trust aims to ensure that any individual or group feels welcomed, respected, supported and valued to fully participate and contribute to our success. At Northern Trust, we have a working family business resource council – a partner driven group supporting working families as they balance their professional and personal life.
With the average full-time employee spending most of their working week in the office, our annual Bring Your Child to Work Day gives parents the opportunity to share the professional side of their life with their children. This helps make the children feel more included and enables the parent to introduce their child to the partners whom they interact with. In turn, this helps to demystify any questions/thoughts their children may have about where their parents go each day and brings two important sides of our partners’ lives closer together.
2. This year you looked at the theme of the Future Workplace, how was that received?
The children really enjoyed this topic. It enabled them to be creative and imagine themselves as future employees. Interestingly, they came up with insightful ideas that align to plans Northern Trust already has in place to continually enhance the work environment – a beneficial temperature check for Northern Trust to see if our plans are futureproofing the business. Parents were delighted that the workshop had captured the children’s imagination and many were surprised at how much work they presented in such a short space of time.
3. What do you think the participants and their parents gain from the day?
Participants get a lot out of the day – teambuilding, topic knowledge, planning and presenting skills. The activity in particular helps to build a better understanding of the workplace that their parents experience and how professional life looks.
It is insightful for the parents too in terms of understanding what perceptions their children may have had about their working life. Parents often see a new side to their children; the shy child they left in the morning is often confidently presenting to a large audience of strangers by the end of the day. It’s an educational experience for all.