Is Parental Leave The Most Impactful Benefit For New Parents?Sep 30, 2022
They are important benefits to the health of your working parent employees. However, are they the only benefits you could be offering to create an impact on your employee's wellness and performance?
Ask most women about their maternity leave experience in the United States and they'll tell you they returned to work in 12 weeks. Their time was spent:
- Recovering from the birthing experience, some took the full 12 weeks to do this.
- Getting into a rhythm of feeding their child, contrary to popular belief breastfeeding can be a very difficult task for Moms and babies.
- Trying to recover from great sleep exhaustion can be a major contributor to maternal mental health conditions.
- Not eating bon bons!
So why is it that most of our employers expect women to just step back into work like they were just gone on vacation?
The feeling of belonging is one of the major contributors to a person's decision to continue working for your company. Every parent returning to work is certainly making a self-evaluation about their job position, employers, and even career path after they have a child. It's natural but it does add risk for you, the employer, as turnover can cost you 1.5x - 2x the salary of your high-performance employee. Beyond that statistic is the silent impact that depression and anxiety can have on your company's growth.
Take a look at this workplace depression calculator from Center For Workplace Mental Health.
Offering a re-onboarding program to your caregiving employees after an extended leave can be an excellent way to reintegrate them back into your organization, and their team and give them an opportunity to find flexibility in their role. This is a way your organization can proactively support working parents' big life transition and reduce stress during this time.
Flexibility is the #1 priority for working parents!
Employee offerings included in the re-onboarding program can include:
- Giving a flexible schedule to the working parent to adjust to their new work-life integration. This may include an option to work part-time for a few weeks post maternity or paternity leave.
- Match with a fellow working parent as a mentor.
- Host a team lunch welcoming employees back.
- Employer and employee have weekly 1:1s for several weeks upon return to provide support and communication about projects, clients, and any open initiatives that may require the returning employee's attention. Keep employees tuned into KPIs and your vision for your team and business during this time and offer support as they reintegrate.
- If you offer any employee wellness benefits such as coaching, this is a great time to recommend some coaching sessions to help the employee continue to adjust to their new role. Many high-achievers will not disclose if they are struggling or even know that they may be processing a traumatic event or experiencing high anxiety during life transitions. It is important for leaders to create an inclusive, empathetic culture that removes the stigma of any personal mental health or wellness challenges.
For more information about how you can start a re-onboarding program to support your parents, please plan on joining our "Reduce Turnover With Post-Maternity Re-Onboarding" on October 13th at 11 a.m. PST. Reserve your seat here. Additional resources to support working parents can be found at www.amyleighlooper.com.
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