How Employers Can Help Working Parents
Written by Geoff Newman on 29/09/2014
A recent study by Relate and Relationships Scotland found that a third of UK workers believe that their boss views staff that put work before their family as their most productive. The study also found that a fifth of staff believe their employer’s ideal employee is one who is available at all times. Though you may favour those who are willing to be flexible with their job, it is important to not to disregard others who have responsibilities at home. Therefore, at Recruitment Genius we have listed the ways you can help take the pressure off whilst ensuring your business doesn’t suffer.
Offer flexible working
If possible you could let them come in earlier or start later to help them out. Some working parents may want to take their child to school every morning or be there to pick them up. Offering flexibility will allow them to work their contracted hours whilst being able to spend quality time with their children. That way your business will not suffer as badly compared to if they were to work part time to balance their work/life.
Encourage them to not check emails after work
Many working parents may leave the office on time but will work over the weekends and evenings. Though this shows commitment to the job, their families are suffering. Many workers spend most of their lives at work, leaving little time for their personal lives. Therefore if your staff are working past their contracted hours then their families could be taking the brunt. This could increase stress levels as arguments between them may arise. As their manager you need to encourage them to “switch-off” after working hours. This can be by suggesting they don’t check their emails after hours or by letting them finish on time to have dinner with their families.
Encourage them take time off with their children
During term time breaks, some working parents may struggle to organise childcare. Also some may want to book days off to spend time with their children but feel they should stay working. All staff need to have a break from the office once in a while to restore and rest. Therefore you should encourage employees to take annual leave once in a while so when they come back they feel refreshed and ready to work.
Let them work from home some days
Furthermore, during term time breaks, some working parents may struggle to arrange childcare. Or some may simply feel they are missing out by being at work five days a week. As their manager, you could suggest they work from home a couple of days a week. You can put goals and targets in place to ensure their productivity does not decrease. By doing this your staff will feel happier with their work/life balance and may be more productive for your business. If you find they’re too distracted then you can hold a meeting with them to discuss other options.
Hold regular meetings
To help reassure them, you should hold regular meetings to discuss their performance. You can sit down together and discuss what is working well and what they may need help on. It is also a good opportunity for them to discuss any issues they are having with balancing their life around work and their families. By doing this you can come up with solutions together, track performances and identify if any problems are arising before they grow bigger. This way your staff will feel less pressurised and will appreciate that you care about them.
Though it is beneficial to the business to have staff who have little home responsibilities, it is important not to outcast working parents. As their manager you need to help them create a healthy balance between their work and their personal life whilst ensuring your business stays successful. You need to be fair and understanding with their working hours and encourage openness. This way your staff will feel a lot happier and reward your business by being productive at work.