Modern businesses pride themselves on having excellent break areas and a laid-back office environment. And while that does sound very appealing to a somewhat younger workforce, those are certainly not a priority for working parents. This workforce is actually looking for a different type of flexibility in the workplace.
It’s one thing to market a workplace as a flexible environment. It’s an entirely different thing to actually make it one. Aside from just saying it, modern employers need to actually start practicing what they preach if they hope to retain all the moms and dads in their employ. Here are some of the ways this can be done.
Allow flexible work hours
To working parents, flexible working hours mean a lot. However, if you promise them this opportunity, avoid going back on your word. If your employees need to come in late because they were dropping their kids to school, or they need to leave early because nobody else can pick their kids up, try to make it clear that they’re welcome to do so. However, if their job performance starts to diminish, bring it to their attention. The key to making flexible working hours really work lies in the fact that both you and your employee need to be on the same page.
Furthermore, working parents – and especially new parents – have their priorities changed. Simply put, they will no longer be able to stay a bit longer after their work hours or go grab a drink after work. Instead, they’ll probably have to rush home as soon as their work hours are up. And you, as an employer, will need to respect that. Also, in case your employee gets an urgent call regarding their children, make it clear to them that they can just up and leave with no questions asked. They can finish their work once they are sure their kid is safe and good.
Show your employees that you care
Furthermore, all employees like to feel valued. And what better way to show your employees that you care, than to do something nice for their kids. For instance, if your company is holding a Christmas party, you can choose to set up some adorable presents with toys for your employees’ kids. If you’re not sure what type of toys to go with, check it online here to get some inspiration.
Offer paid parental leave
Businesses that enable their employees to go on a paid parental leave are the real MVPs. The fact is that not all the workplaces enable their employees to do so. And if your employee is a single parent, this will pose an even greater problem for them. So, instead of making these already challenging times even more difficult, ensure that your employees can take some much-needed paid time off work and spend it with their newborn.
Don’t fight the inevitable
Sometimes, parents just won’t have another choice and they will have to bring their kids to work with them. And to be completely honest, nobody is too delighted when such a situation arises. But that is just something that will happen from time to time. So, instead of making your employees feel bad about having to bring their kid along, let them know that things like that happen and that you’re completely fine with it. To take it a step further, you can even have a tablet ready for your employees’ kids with some pre-installed educational games that promise to keep them entertained.
Promoting your business as family-friendly is one thing. But unless you actually put time and effort into making it one, you realistically only stand to gain some backlash.