The life of a working parent is hard as it is! The entry of covid-19 and remote working has made it even tough for all working parents. If you are a working parent – we know what exactly you are going through. And Kudos to you – you are doing an amazing job! Balancing your personal and professional responsibilities is no joke – especially for a working parent – You know why! (wink, wink). Imagine a kid pulling your leg while you are presenting something important to your team, elders calling for help in the background or your kid falls sick all of a sudden and you are running behind a deadline… I can go on and on! This is what the life of a working parent looks like! Without school/child care or external support, many employees are feeling helpless and stuck. And many of them, particularly working mothers are resigning their jobs to fend for their family due to lack of support. This can cost your company immensely in terms of talent. Also in terms of the time & money that has to be allocated for hiring new employees and training them. How can you support working parents so that they don’t quit and preserve your talent pipeline?
Here are 3 ways you can support working parents
1. Offer Flexibility
Creating a work environment that’s parent-friendly is very important. Communicate with working parents and together come up with a work chart. This work chart should cover the time slots they will be available to attend meetings, discussions, and presentations. It’s better if you do this on a weekly basis. That being said, offer the flexibility they need to get their work done in their time – while meeting the deadline. In short, trust them with the work and micro-management is a big ‘NO-NO.’ For instance: Most parents would prefer working early in the morning or late in the night – when their kids are sleeping. In the day give them the flexibility they need because some of them may have to help their kids give their online exam, feed them, etc. One more thing that you could do is introduce mobile-friendly platforms like zoom, slack, etc. so that working parents can quickly respond to work-related queries without having to go through the hassle of opening their system to write an elaborate mail!
2. Offer health care benefit, paid maternity and paternity leave
Did you know? When Google increased their paid maternity leave period, they found that the rate at which new mothers quit decreased by almost 50%.
It’s important to provide leaves for both moms and dads. Unfortunately, although paternity leave is available in many countries, only a few of them claim it. It’s important you encourage working dads to avail their paternity leaves. This way you will be helping working moms a great deal. Trust me, I am saying this being a working mom myself – all working mothers will truly appreciate this initiative. Apart from allowing dads to have a hands-on role in their children’s early development, studies have also shown that offering paternity leave makes it more likely for working moms to return to work full-time. Another important thing is to offer your employees – health care benefit plans, especially in crucial times like this. By doing so, you will be taking away the financial burden in case one of their family members is sick and needs medical attention.
Remember, tension-free employees = happy employees = greater productivity!
3. Help them strike a work-life balance
Along with the stress of living during a pandemic, working parents are also finding themselves working from home constantly, responding to evening phone calls from managers, or squeezing in more hours every weekend or late at night – to get the work done. As it is taking care of their family in this COVID-19 struck world is a strenuous task. In addition, fulfilling work responsibilities in the limited time they have is even more strenuous. So, it’s important for employers to support working parents in terms of establishing work-life balance. You could do so by consulting them before handing in work responsibilities that require a lot of time and effort. Talk to them often and hear them out. The best thing do is to create a working parents support group. Add all the working parents to this group. Encourage them to share what they are going through and how they are coping with it – By doing so you will be helping working parents help themselves with the added benefit of establishing a sense of belongingness.
In addition, you could come up with programs that encourage working parents to showcase their talents or events that inspire them to do exercise, follow a healthy diet, etc.
Most importantly, when you sense they are stressed – encourage them to take some time off. The thumb rule is – “Be there for them and they will be there for you. Care for them and they will care for your company!”
Tension-free parents = happy workers = greater productivity!
If you want to retain your talented, skilled workforce – then it’s important you support working parents. Apart from being the right thing to do, it is also crucial for productivity and your company’s growth.
What are you doing to support working parents? Leave us a comment.