Posted by Nisha Amin on Mar 29, 2018 12:16:47 PM


family friendly workplaceHaving children is one of the biggest decisions anyone will make – it impacts every aspect of your life, including your career. While people try to achieve work-life balance, it's certainly not easy. One study found that roughly half of all parents, both men and women, take a job for less money at a more family friendly employer.1

With the high cost of hiring and turnover, creating a family friendly workplace can help your bottom line by attracting and retaining good employees. Here are three ways to make your work environment more family friendly.

1. Flexible work

Flexible and remote work are becoming increasingly popular in many organizations, and can be especially helpful for employees with children. There are several scenarios:

  • Remote work – Working from home using a laptop, mobile devices and cloud technologies. This can be an ongoing arrangement or an option when parents need to care for sick children, or attend doctor’s appointments or their children’s events.

  • Flex-time – Instead of the standard 9-5, employees start and end their days at varying times. This will allow parents to coordinate their schedules for dropping off or picking up children and attending appointments.

  • 4-day work week – Changing an employee's schedule so they can put in their standard hours in fewer days. This can also help save on child care costs.

  • Job sharing – An arrangement in which two employees work part-time hours to complete the work of one full-time job.

With any of these choices, have an open dialogue with your employees and ask them to schedule ahead as much as possible. Encourage them to keep their teams in the loop if they plan to work from home or be away for part of a day and have them update their calendars accordingly.

2. On-site arrangements

There are changes both big and small you can make in your workplace. 

Some companies offer on-site daycare or subsidize the cost of child care as an employee benefit.

A survey found that 68% of women who breastfed longer than a year returned to work before the child was one-year-old.2 Speak to your returning mom about her nursing needs. Ensure she has a comfortable place to pump and store breast milk and be flexible with how this may impact the overall work day.

Many employees who return to work are still invested in their careers and want to continue to progress. However, some people, especially women, feel their employers think they are less committed and may not consider them for promotion.3 To address this, make a point of offering these employees equal opportunities for learning and development, mentoring and coaching.

3. Onboarding after parental leave

When new parents return to work after parental leave, they are faced with a major transition. Talk to the direct team and remind them to lend an extra hand as the returning employee settles back in.

If you don't already have one, consider implementing an onboarding program for employees returning from parental leave. Having a formal program will help new parents get reacquainted with their jobs, to get them back up and running quickly to achieve optimal performance. 

To assist you in developing or auditing your existing program, download Onboarding: The Sequel - Welcoming Employees Back After Parental Leave.

This eBook outlines seven key areas for a successful program and includes a printable checklist to reference for your returning employees during this transitional time.

Parental Leave Onboarding

For further assistance with developing a specific onboarding program for employees returning after parental leave, contact the corporate training experts at TrainingFolks.

1, 3 Bright Horizon Modern Family Index 2016

2 Breastfeeding: the numbers

Topics: employee onboarding, remote work, family friendly workplace

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