What can we, as human resources professionals, do to ease some of the burden for working parents – and working mothers in particular? Obviously, there isn’t much we can do in the home itself, but even incremental changes in the way that we do business can make a big difference in terms of making life easier for these employees and their families.
Eighty-two percent of working moms feel they can “have it all,” but only 50 percent reported that they were equally successful in the office and at home, with most admitting that they were more successful on the job than as a parent, according to the results of Career Builder’s annual Mother’s Day survey.
Read on below for five innovative – and easy – changes you can make to your business today to support the needs of these hard-working individuals.
In an ideal world, companies would be able to offer their workers discounted or even free on-site childcare, which represents a giant source of stress – and financial burden – for most working parents. However, for most companies, this simply isn’t feasible. However, offering flexible spending accounts to help defray the cost of childcare or even an employee assistance program complete with referrals for dependable local childcare resources can also prove to be a huge help to working parents, especially those that have relocated for a job and are unfamiliar with the area.
Beat the clock
Now that we have moved firmly into the digital era, it is not always necessary for every employee to sit at a desk from 9-5. Offering parents the opportunity to work from home, even on an as-needed basis, can be a huge source of comfort to parents trying to juggle school holidays, daycare closures, sick days and any number of other issues that see schools shut at a moment’s notice. Similarly, offering employees the opportunity to work flexible hours to fit around the school drop-off/pick up times can have a huge impact on productivity and morale, often with little or no impact to your business.
When you are a parent, your needs – no matter how pressing – often slip to the bottom of the to-do list. On-site wellness offerings, such as yoga, stress management workshops, or even on-site flu vaccinations and blood pressure checks, can go a long way to promoting a healthy lifestyle for the folks who might need it the most.
Help employees find balance
Your office help parents find some balance by scratching one thing off their to-do list. It can be something as simple as a dry cleaner who picks up and drops off at the office. This can be a life saver for a parent who is rushing home every night and probably has a weekend jammed with family activities.
When planning business travel for a working parent, where possible try to avoid scheduling travel time over weekends or for long stretches of time that may prove disruptive to the family unit. Further, analyze the purpose of each trip and ask yourself whether the same goals could be accomplished via phone or video conference – often at a much cheaper rate to the company!
Often when we think of working parents, we think of those with little children at home. However, any parent to a teen will tell you that parenting this age group is just as hard and requires just as much – and sometimes more – oversight.
You can support the parents of older children by tailoring employee assistance programs to meet their needs, such as seminars on applying to college and meetings with advisors on how to finance said education without totally breaking the bank.
Explain all the features of benefits included in their package
New parents and expectant parents have lots of questions about benefits. Navigating the complicated, and seemingly overwhelming world of benefits can be very stressful for employees. Ease this stress by having someone there who can proactively answer all their questions. Once you are aware that they are expecting, offer to sit down with them to explain the features of your benefit package, plus what they are entitled to in terms of leave according to your states laws.
Abel HR has a benefits manager who is happy to explain everything in detail, both before and after baby.
In addition to manager helping to explain everything, Abel HR’s team of human resource experts can help you design a program to support the working parents at your business. Reach out to us now at (800) 400-1968 or firstname.lastname@example.org.