As hard as it might be to imagine, your employees have lives outside of work. (Gasp!) Taking care of the whole employee is an idea that’s been emphasized more and more in the work world, and we’re here to let you know how to take care of your employees who are also parents.
While some companies—like Google—can offer out-of-this-world perks and benefits when it comes to maternity or paternity leave, childcare, and more, we know that not everyone can do that.
So, here are a few attitudes that anyone can have when it comes to engaging employees who are parents and ensuring they’re do their best work—no matter what perks you do or do not have.
Parenting is hard. Children are unpredictable and no two are alike. So even if you’re a parent, you may not know their specific struggles and joys as a parent. Sometimes, they argue with their kids on the way to school, which might affect their focus when they first enter the office. Or, maybe their child is going through a hard time, and they don’t know what to do.
Don’t be afraid to ask how they’re doing. In your frequent check-ins and stay interviews, show that you care about them by checking in on their home life. Now, we’re not talking about getting all up in their business, but just showing care and, where needed, concern.
And then do something! Celebrating a new arrival? Put together a diaper bag with some of the essentials. Do they have a child in the hospital? Put together a care package for them. Celebrating a special accomplishment? Get them a special gift or maybe even customize a trophy for them to give their child.
There are so many ways you can care not only for your employees, but for their families—i.e. creating a family-friendly company culture.
Another idea is pre-boarding. Pre-boarding is something that not many companies do, but it has a huge impact. Write a letter to your new employees’ family, thanking them for lending their family member to your organization.
With a flexible mindset, your employees will feel your care and concern when their schedules get a little crazy and their work time or attention suffers.
When children get sick and have to stay home from school, parents are the ones who stay home with them. When children have sports games, dance recitals, musical performances, or other extra-curricular activities, parents are the ones who always show up to support. When students are on summer vacation, parents prefer to align their vacation time with theirs, enjoying family time when they can enjoy the great outdoors.
Offering employees a flexible schedule, that allows them to be there for their children, is the way to go. Does your organization offer a summer hours program? Maybe think about putting one into place! Employees still work the same amount of hours, they’re just slightly reorganized over a two-week period.
Or, if you can, allow your employees to come in at 9:00am and leave at 6:00pm or come in at 7:00am and leave at 4:00pm. Again, it’s a rearrangement of hours, but with the same total hours worked.
Speaking of Summer . . .
Have you seen our Summer Engagement Guide yet? It’s chock-full of tips, activities, and ideas to re-energize, motivate, and excite your team during the summer months! Go ahead: give it a try!