National Working Parents Day
By Andrea Feinberg
During September we acknowledge “National Working Parents Day”. And, while you may have a number of employees whose role as parents show up in a variety of ways daily, this annual awareness can be a thoughtful gesture to show appreciation and support for those team members with children or caregiving responsibilities. Here are some tips and advice we recommend:
- Flexible Work Arrangements: Offer flexible work arrangements to accommodate the diverse needs of your employees. This might include flexible hours, compressed workweeks, or the option to work from home. Flexibility can greatly assist working parents in managing their responsibilities. We know that you might be currently confounded by some employees who not only have the opportunity to work from home, but actually refuse to return to the office for whatever reason. This is really a different issue, and we urge you to get in touch if this is a challenge for you, and not simply an option or accommodation you want to offer for employees who truly need to be at home.
- Well-Defined Policies: Establish clear and inclusive policies regarding parental and caregiving leave. Ensure that your employees are aware of these policies and understand their rights and benefits. Whether as parents who have young children at home or who have caregiving responsibilities for loved ones of any age, incorporating clear policies that acknowledge these needs for valued employees can be a key part of building a strong company, culture and seamless productivity.
- Recognition and Appreciation: Beyond acknowledging the conflicting needs of employees, you may also wish to acknowledge the efforts of employees who work hard to balance a variety of roles, including the one they handle so well for you. A thank-you note, a personalized message, or a token of appreciation can go a long way in boosting morale and continuing to create a strong set of company values that includes recognizing the varied responsibilities of your employees.
- Supportive Work Environment: In fact, you may want to go a step further and create a supportive work environment where employees feel comfortable discussing their caregiving responsibilities. This can include regular check-ins to assess workload and stress levels. Whether with our team or your in-house human resource professional, making it easy for employees to share their concerns without fear of reprisal will deliver a stronger sense of responsibility to you.
- Parental Resource Networks: As an example, you may wish to encourage the development of support networks within your workplace, where employees can connect and share resources and advice related to parenting and caregiving. This can foster a sense of community and support, another way to advance productivity.
- Training and Development: Invest in training and development opportunities that can help employees enhance their skills and manage their time more efficiently. This can benefit both the employees and your business.
- Childcare Assistance: Explore the possibility of offering childcare assistance programs, such as subsidies or referrals to trusted childcare providers. This can alleviate some of the stress for working parents.
- Remote Work Support: For employees working remotely, ensure they have the necessary tools and resources to maintain productivity while balancing caregiving responsibilities. This might include access and training to virtual meeting platforms, flexible schedules, and ergonomic home office setups.
- Mental Health Support: Recognize that balancing work and caregiving responsibilities can be emotionally taxing. You might provide access to mental health resources and counseling services to support employees’ well-being, especially when it seems that extended absenteeism, reduced productivity, or distraction on the job has shown up more frequently than usual.
- Inclusive Celebrations: Organize inclusive celebrations or activities that acknowledge the contributions of all employees, not just parents. This can foster a sense of unity among the team.
By implementing these tips and advice, you’ll demonstrate your commitment to supporting employees with caregiving responsibilities and create a more inclusive and empathetic workplace culture. In the long run, this can only benefit your productivity and increase desirability of your business as an employer.