How Employers Can Support Working Parents

It’s that time of year again – the children are back to school soon – It’s been a long six months of homeschooling! Life as a working parent is exceptionally fulfilling but challenging. Working parents everywhere are performing the ultimate juggling act by blending their work and life hours together to create a balance that works for their professional careers and their families. It can often feel like having two jobs. Workplaces with supports in place for working parents are more likely to report higher performance than companies without them. After all, working parents make up a significant part of the workforce. Not supporting them can alienate a large portion of current and potential employees. So, making sure your business is doing enough to help working parents is a win-win situation, not only aiding working parents, but it contributes hugely to company performance and ultimately, the bottom line. Here are our top tips for helping working parents in your company;

Create a family-first environment

This means urging managers to ask all employees about their children, inviting families to work events and all over being more easy-going and flexible, particularly over the school mid-terms or holidays when parents may be struggling to organise childcare. It also means being more empathetic for example when their child is ill, so encourage management to be mindful of this when coordinating schedules.

Use HR data to know your employees

It’s essential to understand how many working parents are on your payroll.  This way, employers can tease out and tackle any problems; for example, you might find that new parents have a high absence rate because they are struggling with childcare and work.  Employers can pre-empt this by asking management to discuss work-life issues with employees and assess a way for the company to support them. Having access to critical data is a huge benefit and is available through most HR Software’s available on the market.

Offer flexible working hours

Office culture is changing from one of presenteeism to actively achieving results; therefore, working parents focus importance and value on flexible working offerings. Enabling parents to work around school nativities and doctors’ appointments will allow them to worry less about organising all they have to do and instead focus solely on their work. Make sure your support goes beyond policies and is deep-rooted in the company culture and showcased by the management. For example, a policy of flexible working, when you have a culture of long hours in your office, is moot.

Guarantee inclusiveness in all policies

Ensure your policies are inclusive of all kinds of parents and parents-to-be. This should include moms, dads, adoptive, and more, and even undertaking IVF.  Don’t forget however that it’s not just parents who may require support. Some of your workers may be caring for elderly parents or other family members, so work and home-life balance is just as crucial to them.  Ensure your policies and parenting programs are clearly visible and easily accessible; by doing so all your employees will know of the support available to them.

So, why is it imperative to support working parents? Apart from being a good thing to do, it is also fundamental for company productivity. Plus, it’s another weapon that employers can employ in the war for talent as it’s apparent that benefits these days can be more incentivising than income when it comes to recruitment and retention of employees. Is it time to revisit what support you are providing for working parents in your business?