Starting a family can be both a rewarding and daunting experience for new parents. Many struggle at performing child-minding responsibilities and striking a balance between work and family. If not managed properly, the demands of parenthood can negatively affect work and personal lives.
A survey conducted by Pew Research Center indicated that 56 percent of all working parents had difficulty balancing both work and parental duties.
Not being able to cope with either work or child-rearing duties can lead to burn out. Hence, employers should recognize warning signs in employees to avoid its snowball effects such as work dissatisfaction, frustration, lack of self-esteem and depression. It’s crucial that employers implement effective measures in the organization to mitigate the negative effects of burn out and help employees strike a balance between work and personal life.
1. Introduce a New Parent Hub
Consider leveraging technology using the company’s intranet to make practical aspects of parenting more manageable. Employees can trade tips on child care and child rearing and swap used baby clothes and related products on this platform.
2. Make Online Resources Available
Employers can consolidate online resources on assistance programs and counseling for new parents on the intranet. This will help them seek ways to cope with parenting responsibilities and relieve them of child-raising worries.
3. Support Breast Feeding
According to Wolters Kluwer Health, while 75 percent of women choose to breastfeed their infants after delivery, only 40 percent will resume breastfeeding upon returning to work. Hence, introducing measures to support breast feeding for new mothers in your company will greatly encourage them to continue with this healthy practice. Providing work breaks, designating an appropriate area for women to pump breast milk and offering storage space for the expressed milk are effective strategies you can choose to implement. Note that some states and municipalities have their own laws regarding breast feeding areas, so please check to make sure you’re in compliance.
4. Provide On-site Childcare Service
Providing childcare service within the office premises not only solves your employees’ child-minding problems and increases job satisfaction but decreases turnover. If offering this service isn’t an option for your company, consider offering a childcare service discount at registered child care services nearby to reduce missed work hours.
5. Offer Parental Benefits
Giving new parents fixed days of paid maternity and paternity leave for family emergencies or child-related welfare is another effective way to help new parents balance work and parenthood.
6. Ensure Wide Health Plan Coverage
Check to see if your health plans provide comprehensive preconception care and post-natal care services, including innovative provisions and support such as lactation consultation.
Spending time and effort helping new mothers transition into the workplace and new parents strike a work-home life balance can reap long-term rewards. Over time, your company will benefit from potential savings as a result of lower absenteeism, lower health care costs and higher company retention rates. It’s never too late to initiate a few new procedures to keep new parents productive and happy.
Emmie Sahlan has a graduate degree in English and has been writing professionally for the past five years. Her niche areas are insurance, credit cards, personal finance and education.