Working parents face a lot of unique challenges when it comes to finding an employer and work culture that meets their needs. Oftentimes, one parent has to decide between paying for childcare or continuing their career. Unfortunately, workplace culture doesn’t tend to lend working parents a helping hand. Working moms, for instance, are often passed up when it is time for a raise or promotion.
Around 90% of Americans are parents or wish to become parents someday. So, companies need to address these disparities. To remedy this, employers can offer perks and encourage cultural changes that can help employees who need to get back to work while having kids at home.
Provide On-Site Child Care
Child care costs are astronomical. Even if a working parent is able to find something they can afford, the center may not offer the right hours or have any openings. By providing onsite child care, employers can reduce the money your staff is spending on caring for their kids. On top of that, parents can top in on their breaks to spend more time with their children.
Work Out Flexible Scheduling
A little bit of flexibility can go a long way, especially where working parents are concerned. Offering some flexibility in their schedule can allow them to work around their children’s busy schedules. If it doesn’t matter when the employee is working, let them set their own schedule. Many businesses have also started to allow employees to work from home, which can help parents establish a better work-life balance.
Offer Family Leave Options
Providing staff with family leave can help them balance their responsibilities at home and work without them feeling like their job is in jeopardy. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires employers to provide their staff with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave. However, to make your organization more family-friendly, you might consider offering paid parental leave. Some companies encourage fathers to take paid paternal leave at the time of the birth of their child.
Supply Quality Insurance
The benefits you provide to your employees can make a huge difference too. Take a look at all the coverage options available to you. See what benefits you can offer that allow you to add children of employees to the plan. If your company provides coverage for your employees’ children, you will build a reputation as a great place to work.
Tax Breaks for Employees With Families
Make sure your human resources department is assisting employees in setting up accounts to help address family costs. Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Dependent Care FSAs are accounts employees can open through their employer to help pay for childcare costs and healthcare costs that aren’t covered by insurance. The payroll department pulls out a pre-set amount of money pre-tax from each paycheck to go into these accounts. Then, the parent can use the money to pay for approved goods and services.
Create Family-Centered Programs
Parents often get left out of the after-work happy hour because they have to get home to their children. Hold regular events outside the office that encourages employees to bring their families. Companies can hold picnics, family days, and other family-friendly events to further encourage a company culture that supports working parents. When working parents leave the office, they go home to a busy house where there is more work to be done. Don’t continue to communicate with them about work after hours. If you need to send an email or message, let them know that it isn’t urgent or that they can respond during the next business day. This helps categorize certain communications so they don’t feel stretched thin between their work and home life.
Maintain Open Communication
Last but certainly not least, maintaining open communication can impact your work culture tremendously. When a working parent needs some time off or has something changing about their personal life, they will feel comfortable coming forward. These conversations also give you, as an employer, a moment to be compassionate and see if there is any specific way you can offer your support.