The Secret to Success for ATX Business Leaders

What is the secret to success for an Austin business?

Gay Gaddis, CEO of T3 and Ali Khataw, CEO of Encotech Engineering Consultants are sharing what helped their companies on the path to success, and leading a movement sparking change for businesses across the city.

“We often get the question: ‘What’s the one thing about your business that keeps you up at night?’ For us, it’s how to keep talented team members at the company as they start their families. For over two decades we’ve been working to cultivate a family-friendly culture at T3 (and Encotech Engineering Consultants), while encouraging other business leaders to do the same.” -Gay Gaddis, founder and CEO of T3

Ali Khataw, Gay Gaddis and Cathy McHorse at the Family-Friendly Workplace Launch

The City is joining this family-friendly movement, too. Last month, Mayor Steve Adler joined us in launching the Early Matters Greater Austin (EMGA) Family-Friendly Workplace Initiative. The goal is to encourage local business leaders to survey their family-friendly workplace practices and commit to strengthening policies and practices that support families.

Mayor Steve Adler, at the Family-Friendly Workplace Launch

Some guidance on what makes a family-friendly workplace has been established under the leadership of United Way for Greater Austin and E3 Alliance, who created a Family-Friendly Toolkit that outlines resources and recommendations both for employers and their employees. The suggestions in the toolkit can be applied to companies of all sizes, and offer a range of benefits that are easy to institute.

“Life is just one virtuous circle — which includes work, family, and a person’s individual interests and pursuits. We believe at T3 that when we understand each staff member, we realize that policies that can help them move from one phase of life to the next, we get a more motivated, high-performing and engaged team. High performing teams lead to the best work. That is why it is not only the right thing, but the best business decision to include family-friendly policies in the workplace.” -Gay Gaddis, founder and CEO of T3

Gay Gaddis saw an opportunity to bring comfort to her team members balacing work/parent life by creating a program called T3 and Under. This program allows parents to return to work from maternity/paternity leave, and bring their baby along. T3 has a dedicated space at their office catering to children of employees, which helps new parents ease back into their work load. When the kids graduate from the program at six months old, the parents are more refreshed and ready to tackle parenting and full-time work simultaneously.

Over time, we’ve learned that culture and policies go a long way in fostering happy employees and cultivating a successful business. Research backs this up, demonstrating that supportive workplace practices increase organizational productivity. Family-friendly practices allow employees to invest in their children – our future workforce – by building safe, stable and nurturing relationships.

Austin is fortunate to have a thriving economy with low unemployment. However, this means competition for workers is fierce. With 83% of millennials saying they would leave their current job for one with more family-friendly benefits, family-friendly employers find they have a competitive advantage in attracting and retaining skilled employees.

Community leaders attending the Family-Friendly Workplace Launch

Twenty years ago, most businesses weren’t ready to hear about the benefits of a family-friendly business. But today they’re paying very close attention as the City of Austin joins the family-friendly movement. Successful companies in today’s Austin, TX know that adopting family-friendly practices is good for morale, productivity and can reduce turnover rates – all of which are good for business.

Businesses currently signed on to the family-friendly initiative include: ABC Home & Commercial Services, Aero Capital Solutions Inc., Ascension Providence, Ascension Seton, Austin Board of Realtors, Austin Chamber of Commerce, Austin Independent School District, Butler Bros, City of Austin, Encotech Engineering Consultants, H-E-B, IBM, Kerbey Lane Cafe, Maxwell Locke & Ritter, McGinnis Lochridge, Moreland Properties, P. Terry’s, Sauceda Industries, St. David’s Healthcare, Superior HealthPlan, T3, Texas Mutual Insurance, United Way for Greater Austin, Velocity Credit Union, Workforce Solutions Capital Area with more signing on every day!

Will you and your company join the fight to make Austin a more family-friendly city?

Check out photos from our Launch event.

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