For many working parents, finding a healthy work-life balance can be very tricky. According to the 2016 Modern Family Index, “59% of new parents are likely to switch employers after having their first child.” How can you, as a manager, better support a parent’s transition to work and successfully retain them as employees?
Here are six strategies that progressive companies are implementing to engage new parents back into the workplace:
1. Expanded paternal leave
To have a successful leave program, ensure that it includes all parents, and provide compensation during their leave. Also consider offering medical leave for birth mothers that are recovering.
2. Recognition of fathers as parents, too
Working fathers have specific needs as they transition into parents, as well. Discuss with them their work-life challenges and any concerns they have during this time.
3. Holistic supports for new parents
Offer either one-on-one or group coaching for new parents at the workplace. These sessions will help them prepare for their leave, as well as transition back to work.
4. Gradual return to work and on-going flexibility
One of the most important ways to support a new working parent is to allow flexibility in their schedules. Perhaps as they transition, you can reduce their schedule for a period of time. Or maybe let them have “work from home” days. Ensure they can complete their responsibilities with as little anxiety and stress as possible.
5. Child care supports
Securing high-quality and affordable child care is one of the most stressful aspects of returning to work as a parent. Can you include a child care center or back-up care services in the workplace? Or even discounts for child care centers will significantly help new parents.
6. Ongoing parent and family network
Are there other working parents in the office? Establish a network of employees that focus on parental needs and provide support for each other. And consider any events and educational programming that can beneficial to this network.
With that right support, new parents can transition easily to the workplace and not have to suffer in their work/life balance. And consequently, you can retain these talented employees!