What Makes Northern Trust's Work-Life Balance Strategy So Successful?

Newsletter Sign Up

Regular work+family updates for
HR and diversity professionals.

Last week, My Family Care client Northern Trust won the Employee Benefits award for 'Best Work-Life Balance Strategy' 2014.

Northern Trust's success has prompted us to take a more in-depth look at exactly what they've been doing to achieve such high praise in the banking sector, and what impact on engagement the introduction of My Family Care services has had.

Award winning work+family strategy

On the announcement of the Employee Benefits awards, Pamela Hutchinson, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer EMEA/APAC at Northern Trust expressed her delight.

The award comes as a culmination of the company's long history of promoting work-life balance for its employees:

"We recognise that when our employees fully engage in what's important to them they can deliver the best for our clients - it's a win, win! The promotion of work life balance and flexible working is a major differentiator in our industry and we are proud and delighted to have won this award."

Ben Black of My Family Care commented:

"I'm absolutely delighted for Northern Trust. Saying that work and family are not mutually exclusive, and truly believing it to be true, are two very different things. Northern Trust has smashed a coach and horses through some of the myths about flexible working in the City. If you're a talented woman who happens to have children it is a great place to work."

Leading work-life balance initiatives

Northern Trust's UK office is based in London's prestigious Canary Wharf, the heart of the UK's financial centre. Here they have introduced the many ground breaking work-life balance initiatives which have proved so successful that many of their offices across the EMEA region are now looking to adopt similar strategies.

Thanks to their unique company culture, Northern Trust is delivering results that are differentiated in their sector (e.g. just 9% of jobs in banking are occupied by women - Wise 2012):

  • 35% of their workforce in the UK is female
  • 14% female on the EMEA board of directors and 17% on the global board of directors
  • In the 2013 Employee Engagement Survey, 75% felt they had sufficient flexibility to meet personal and family needs in the UK.

A great place to work

Whilst Northern Trust's remit and global reach may have expanded since it was founded in 1889, our Case Study shows that commitment to employees continues to this day and is deeply entrenched in the company culture, encompassing diversity, employee well-being and a healthy work-life balance.

Northern Trust employees report feeling a sense of being valued and supported - a fact reflected in the company's rates of engagement and retention.

Improved engagement and retention

Northern Trust managed to further improve both employees' lives and the business as a whole through improved engagement and retention with the help of My Family Care's services.

As part of the developing practical support for working families, Northern Trust introduced My Family Care's Work+Family Space in 2012 including Backup Care services (Emergency Childcare, School Holiday Cover and Backup Adult & Eldercare), and group maternity coaching.

Cara Collins, vice-president, senior employee resources consultant:

"In the fast-paced, competitive world of financial services, the suggestion of achieving a work-life balance would probably be met with derision. But at Northern Trust we believe that supporting the achievement of work/life balance is not detrimental to our employees' performance but rather enhances it.

My Family Care has helped us achieve this. Not only through the 'one stop shop' that is the Work+Family Space but also in supporting us to communicate and engage employees in taking up the services available to them. We see from all the feedback and measurement, how much employees value the services My Family Care provide."

Newsletter Sign Up

Regular work+family updates for
HR and diversity professionals.