When I am analysing the workforce a key gap that tends to always arise is around the support organisations are providing to working parents. While the conversation seems to be continually in the news or articles, in practice not many companies are actually brainstorming ways they can support and help these employees flourish.
I am going to share some lessons I have learnt managing these employees at KINSHIP digital. Keeping in mind, it is not a one size fits all situation. In order to really support these employees, the conversation needs to be had on an individual level:
- Be Flexible… Sounds simple. Whether through remote or flexible working arrangements, staggered hours, job-sharing or otherwise; working parents need flexibility. Another key part of this is a willingness to be agile as they may not always be able to give notice. For example, Day Care may call at the drop of a hat and report their child is ill. In this event the parent is required to collect and care for their child. Step in, and run any meetings they may have.
- Start a “Baby at Work” Policy. We do this regularly at KINSHIP. Parents are able to bring their young babies to work when there is a conflict between work and home commitments. They will be cared for while they are on a client call or in an internal meeting. Beat the stigma, it is okay to tell your customer that currently there is a baby in the office and there might be some noise.
3. Encourage Personal Development. Personally, a challenge that I have seen with parents is overcoming the stigma that once/if you have children, you are less committed to your job. A way to beat this is to detail clear paths for advancement in your company.
Figuring out how you should best support working parents in your organisation involves a lot of trial and error. You may think you have the best initiative, only to discover it does not suit your employees needs and you need to make some changes. The most important aspect is that you’re committed to improving life for your employees.
Over to you!