Orientation: Rapid changes in the workforce, such as increases in working women and dual-earner couples and single parent families, have led to increases for both men and women in their work and household responsibilities. Employees who are unable to fulfil both work and non-work roles efficiently may experience problems with their health and psychological state, have reduced job satisfaction, burnout, higher absenteeism and work tension. In order to assist employees during these turbulent times many organisations have implemented family-friendly programmes to accommodate employees. The specific needs of employees in the South African context in terms of family-friendly programme seem to be unknown. Research purpose: The main purpose of this study was to investigate the receptiveness of South African working mothers towards a family-friendly programme and to determine the desired features of such a programme. Motivation for the study: Research regarding the use and benefits of family-friendly programmes was done in the United States, Europe, the United Kingdom and Asia. However, the specific needs of employees in the South African context in terms of family-friendly programmes seem to be unknown. Therefore, in this study, the focus will be to explore the receptiveness of working mothers towards a family-friendly programme, as well what an effective family-family programme might entail for them in the South African context. Research approach, design and method: The research was conducted using a qualitative research design within the interpretivism paradigm. A combined convenient and purposive non-probability sample (N = 11) was taken from working mothers employed at a printing and bar coding organisation in Gauteng. Data was collected by means of semi-structured interviews and analysed by making use of thematic analysis.
Main findings: The results of this study indicate that working mothers experience work-life conflict and they would make use of family-friendly programmes if their organisations could provide these programmes. They would like features such as a day-care facility, transport service, flexible working hours, working from home, career guidance, a support group for parents and a baby room. Practical/Managerial implications: This research identified that there is a need for family-friendly programmes in the South African context. Such programmes can assist employees in reducing work-life conflict and, mostly likely, enhance job satisfaction and work engagement. Contribution/Value-add: This study can possibly create awareness about the need for family-friendly programmes in South Africa and provide management with insight about the desired features of such a programme. This study further adds value to the limited research about the needs and desired features of a family-friendly programme in the South African context.
Mini Dissertation (MCom)--University of Pretoria, 2017.