How Companies Can Help Parents Through The Crisis

Our professional life is demanding and challenging, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.  In addition, building a successful career during a crisis while parenting can be even more difficult.

Remote working can cause difficulty in distinguishing work and personal life which can be an increased burden for working parents. That is why organisations need to learn how to support working parents amidst Coronavirus as it can lower their motivation and productivity.

A 2018 report conducted by “Great Place to Work” showed that working parents are more dedicated to work than their colleagues with no children. This shows that working parents bring added value to the workplace such as different perspectives, heightened empathy, and problem-solving skills.These traits show refinement in an employee and are tremendously important for businesses to be prepared for post-crisis.

But more than considering working parents, it is vital to support the new parents and all the challenges they face, such as reintegration after maternity and paternity leave. It is understandable that the exact details of these benefits must be reorganised due to the crisis. Therefore, offering flexibility is key. Free day-care or paid maternity/paternity leave that can be adapted based on the employees’ needs are successful ways of dealing with new parenthood during a crisis.Also, encourage new working parents to set goals, just like a 90-day plan can help them organise themselves and prioritise tasks, both at work and at home. Furthermore, as managers have close relationships with the workforce, they have the responsibility to normalise parenthood, support working parents, and encourage them to be open and communicative about the challenges of balancing personal and professional life.

Thus, leaders and managers need to implement transparent working cultures, as it is a way to show honesty, transparency, and respect. For instance, if a worker wants to take care of their children’s needs for a specific day, they should not be afraid to ask their boss.

Another strategy to achieve a transparent working culture is to encourage bosses to talk with working parents and understand how they can support them. Feedback every step of the way is necessary to ensure management is supporting employees during difficult times. This can mean proposing a part-time position, delegating some of their tasks to other employees/teams, offering work from home even after the confinement or flexibility. This is key as it takes stress out of being a working parent and it is a way of respecting workers’ boundaries

Supporting working parents is also a way of engaging and retaining them. It helps enhance work-life balance, spend more time with family and improve quality of life. Plus, as women are usually more responsible for family tasks, supporting working parents is a way to diminish gender inequalities. Mothers should not have to choose between succeeding in their professional or personal life.

Work is an important part of any employee’s life, as it provides money and benefits (e.g. health insurance, paid vacation, etc). For many, it is also part of their self-esteem: it makes them feel good about themselves when they succeed, just as the opposite happens. For many working parents, dealing with professional and personal life becomes too demanding, so some consider being a stay-at-home parent. This is often the ideal solution to accompany the child ‘s development. However, returning to work after being a stay-at-home parent may not be the easiest thing to do. Additionally, after the Coronavirus crisis, parents may be more apprehensive about coming back to work.Therefore, companies know everything about how to support working parents amidst Coronavirus to ease the transition to work and help parents cope with parenthood and professional life.

References:

  1. 3 ways managers can better support working parents, August 2019, Fast Company
  2. This is the Top Workplace for Working Parents, According to a Survey of Over 400,000 (Hint: It’s Not Google), June 2019, Inc.
  3. Maternity Leave Is Not a Child Care Solution. Here’s How You Can Better Support Your Employees and Their Families, January 2020, Inc.