Among the biggest misconceptions about parents at work is that they lack commitment and that helping them to juggle childcare is a waste of effort. In reality working parents are some of the most valuable employees a company can have.
According to the bestseller, The Nordic Theory of Everything, studies revealed that a flexible, family-friendly workplace serves to motivate staff, reduce staff turnover, help attract new staff, reduce workplace stress, and generally enhance employee satisfaction and productivity.
In fact, organisations that do offer family-friendly measures often report significant reductions in staff turnover, less absenteeism and an increased likelihood that parents return to their original employers after their maternity/paternity leave.
Here are some of the most successful initiatives introduced by family-friendly companies to support working parents:
Work flexibility is crucial when it comes to hiring and retaining talent. A flexible workplace will support their employees – within reason – when they need to change their schedule, whether it’s sick kids, medical appointments, or a school event.
Also, providing additional bonuses, such as allowing employees to work remotely whenever possible, gives employees the freedom to tend to a sick child for example, without falling too far behind.
Focusing on performance, and not hours spent at a desk, makes employees feel more valued, satisfied, and makes them want to contribute more to the company.
Guard against sexism at every level
Attracting talented young women and future parents, and retaining them, requires an atmosphere where men and women are treated equally.
Although companies implement measures against discrimination and sexual harassment, it’s the company culture that essentially will help eradicate sexism from the workplace. Leading by example, offering equal pay and benefits, and educating on the various forms of sexism will go a long way to encouraging an inclusive culture.
Promote work-life balance
Ensuring that your company enforces work-life balance, by making time off mandatory, letting employees disconnect over the weekend and reminding them not to work late hours regularly, will ensure that they don’t need to struggle and end up frazzled working parents.
Make paternity leave a must
Being known as a company that promotes gender equality will go a long way towards drawing good talent. Offering a generous paternity leave policy – and implementing it – sends the message that you as a company are committed to working parents and families.
Paternity leave may be for men, but it benefits working mothers, infants and children, and shows that you’re an inclusive employer.
The cost of childcare and sending the little ones to nursery for the first time can be very daunting for many new parents.
The free childcare scheme available in Malta has incentivised parents to go back to work but sending your baby to childcare for the first time can be daunting. Should your company be able to provide an on-site nursery this would make your organisation more attractive to new parents returning to work.