By Peter Majeed, Head of Customer Success at Qualtrics and father of two
It has been a tough 18 months for working parents, and it doesn’t appear to be letting up.
Demonstrating empathy and support for working parents to enable them to be successful in their dual (or sometimes myriad) roles benefits not only the parent, but also the organisation.
Here are seven practical ways to get started.
1. Offer flexibility with work hours
It’s clear: The traditional 9-to-5 work schedule wasn’t designed with working parents in mind. From morning school drop-offs to after-school activities, parents often face competing priorities when it comes to their kids' schedules.
One way to support working parents here? Offer flexibility as to when and where work gets done, AKA outside normal working hours.
2. Respect employees’ work-life boundaries
Respect work life boundaries and encourage working parents to take steps to do this. Here are some examples;
Do what it takes to get the job done during the week, but never work on the weekends.
Be home and present in the evenings, even if it means going back online later on.
Block your calendar every morning to be there for the school run.
3. Be clear about your parental leave policy
Do an impeccable job of communicating and explaining your parental leave policy over the course of the employee lifecycle. That means, talk to new hires about it; remind employees of it during benefits open enrollment; and encourage managers to have open and transparent dialogue about what the company offers.
Why? So your employees can reap the benefits.
4. Offer working parent benefits to all caregivers
Given that the vast majority of employees support the expansion of benefits to all caregivers, it’s an easy win to take action on this insight and support caregivers of all types at your organisation.
5. Start a working parents employee resource group
Any parent will tell you raising children truly takes a village. And many rely on their fellow working parents at work for community and support.
Be intentional about building a community by starting an employee resource group (ERG) dedicated to working parents.
Have an ERG, but not sure how to get started fostering the community? Here are some ideas:
Host networking events to help members meet other working parents,
Facilitate presentations or discussions with working parents in leadership on work-life balance and prioritisation
Invite guest speakers to host talks on mental health, mindfulness, resilience, and other topics members are interested in (hint: ask them!)
6. Plan company events for children
Another great way to support your organisation’s community of working parents is to plan events for children – whether they’re onsite, online, or a mix of the two.
These events can include:
Holiday, seasonal, or regional events
Sessions for children about what your company does
Office visits when your office reopens; plan to hand out company swag, too
7. Ask working parents what they need – and take action on those insights
From our research, we learned that working parents’ top challenges are:
Minding children/home-schooling during the day
Dropping/collecting kids from school or childcare
A heavy workload and/or the need to attend meetings/work outside of core hours
By asking for feedback, your organisation can identify the unique challenges your employees face – and determine how to take action.
Remember: Always action the feedback your employees give you. Doing so not only demonstrates that you care about their well-being, but that you also value their ideas to make your organisation a better place to work – for parents, caregivers, and all employees.
There’s more your people want you to know. Dive deeper into the trends shaping employee experience in 2022.