In part 1 of our series on how to make life easier for parents working on your teams, we looked at some of the changes and accommodations you can make, such as updating your policies and using inclusive language.
In part 2, we’re exploring some of the day-to-day things you can do to support parents working while juggling childrearing.
Create a group for working parents to connect and share advice
ERGs are one of the best ways to foster a sense of belonging in the workplace.
Setting up an ERG where parents and caregivers can share their experiences and get advice takes some of the stress away from being a parent working a full-time job. It also means they have people who understand what they’re going through.
Sharing problems with people outside of a situation can be a great way to work out our problems and feel calmer. That makes us better able to focus and get on with other tasks.
Offer a remote work stipend
Remote working is more challenging for parents working every day as it’s easy to get distracted. This is especially true in a house with lots of other people—or children who may not understand that you’re on a call and shouldn’t be disturbed.
Remember that professor on the BBC who went viral because his children interrupted his interview? Everyone thought it was cute and could relate.
However, the reaction for women who face similar challenges is often different. Colleagues can perceive it as them not taking their work as seriously. Ultimately though, it’s not their fault and men in the same situation don’t experience the same stigma.
If parents working at your organization work remotely some or all of the time, offering them a stipend to improve their environment helps them perform at their best. Ensure that their setup isn’t a further challenge they have to contend with.
Introduce parental leave care days
There are some days when a child is sick and there’s only one parent who can look after them.
It’s important to provide leave where employees can stay with their children without eating into their own wellness or vacation days. This allows them to take care of their child without worrying about work or losing out on time for themselves because of something that’s out of their hands.
Remove the stigma around mental health/sick days
Sometimes people attach judgments to mental health, sick, or wellness days.
Whatever you call them, it should be acceptable for an employee to use the days that are available to them when they’re not mentally or physically able to work.
We all have days where we’re overwhelmed. Offering mental health days where employees can recover makes it clear that you prioritize mental health.
It also means employees don’t sacrifice their health for the sake of their job. Over time, this can lead to burnout and cost you even more than a wellness day or two.
Provide financial support
What financial support could you offer parents working for you? Subsidies, backup childcare assistance, flexible childcare spending accounts?
Including these in your benefits packages not only shows you’re serious about supporting working parents. It also gives them more options for how they spend their paycheck.
Taking these payments out automatically reduces their mental load, giving them one less thing to plan for each month.
Education can be one of the most expensive parts of being a parent, especially when it comes to college tuition. Or, sending a child to private school to provide them with new opportunities or more help with different ways of thinking, for instance if they’re neurodivergent.
You could enable employees to use some of their paycheck toward their own tuition fees, their student loans, or even their child’s current or future college tuition.
Host family-friendly activities
You can support your working families by hosting family-friendly activities like parties with bounce houses or children’s entertainers. These are great opportunities for colleagues to network, children to socialize, and for everyone to get a break from work.
If you have an office, providing an on-site daycare where parents can leave their children takes a huge weight off them.
This allows them to get on with their job while knowing their children are in safe hands.
It also prevents the children from being in the office itself, where they risk distracting other employees from their work.
Implement a happiness fund
A happiness fund shows your employees how much you value them and their mental health.
Parents working for you could use it to pay for a nanny or babysitter for a few hours so that they can relax.
Non-parents, meanwhile, could use it for attending a yoga or cooking class.
Whatever they need to do for their mental health so that they can keep performing at their best.
Supporting working parents and caregivers creates a happier, more diverse working environment.
It discourages a culture of people being superglued to their desks at the cost of their mental health. Instead, it focuses on employees leading balanced lives where they don’t neglect their families for their careers.
This sets a better example to the next generation, too, about not being stuck to their desks. It is possible to have a balance of work and family time without damaging one’s career prospects or work quality.
Once again, if you’re looking to better support parents working on your teams, equipping them with the right tools can help. Workrowd makes it easy for caregivers to connect with what’s important to them at your organization from day one.
If you want to level up your employee experience and better support both parents and non-parents alike, drop by our site to learn more. Or, feel free to send us a note directly at email@example.com. We’d love to hear from you.