It’s not hard to understand why organizations that go above and beyond to support working parents also benefit from employees that are more loyal and engaged. Modern parents require a modern way of thinking as they find that balance between work and home. Below is a quick checklist we like to run through at InfoTrust to establish best practices for our working parents.
1.Consider the School Schedule
Ask employees about the bus schedule. It may be easier for them to take an early morning call verses attempting to juggle work and be present for the daily send-off at 8:30am. Similarly, consider when the bus drops off. In many cases, the bus drop off is between 3pm and 4pm. It may be easier for parents to get home by 3pm and resume work after the kids go to bed at 8pm. There’s a huge pool of talent to be found in parents who do not fit the typical 8-5 window, but will thrive with some staggered hours here and there.
2. Meetings Suck Adherence
3. Avoid Scheduling Big/Important Meetings During Fall/Winter/Spring Break
With recent school reforms, it is extremely frowned upon for children to take unexcused time out of class. This makes official school breaks so much more valuable. You will get huge points as a manager if you confirm the school break schedule before scheduling important meetings.
4. No After Hours Training
Parents have two to three hours, max, from the time they get home until it's time to put kids to bed. Scheduling internal trainings at 6pm is a surefire way to exclude parents.
5. Open Door for Communication on Hurdles
Make sure people feel comfortable sharing schedule challenges. If an employee quietly suffers and feels that he/she may get penalized for sharing conflicts, they are not going to bring it to light. If this continues, you’ll lose a valuable employee in the long-term.
6. Communication Training for Everybody
Managing organizational communication goes hand-in-hand with respecting a parent’s time away from the office. Is that text message after 6pm really necessary? Emails with a “to do” list attached that would be received on evenings and weekends can wait until the next business day to go out.
7. Treat Part-Time Staff Just as Well as You Do Your Full-Time Staff
How companies treat part-time staff is the #1 trait for consistently being considered a top place of employment. If work can be done anywhere, then it's only meetings that may impact somebody's ability to work a reduced schedule. Controlling the meetings = making flex employees happy.
8. Do Not Assume!
Do not assume that you know what is best for a certain employee and what their family responsibilities are. A great example of this: Not considering a new mother for an upcoming training/conference that requires travel. That particular employee may already have a fantastic support plan in place, if needed, and she may welcome the opportunity for growth!
The key to making your organization a great place to work for parents and non-parents alike is working with each employee on their individual situation and needs. Some issues may be related to being a working parent while another may be managing an aging parent or sick friend or an athletic training schedule. The company that recognizes employees have a life outside of work, and continues to provide ways to balance/ blend them, will be the most successful!
Interested in bringing more balance to your life? Check out our open positions!