Business leaders deal with various sets of challenges on a daily basis. These challenges include financial management, organizational culture, market competition, and technological advancements. To address these, companies resort to business consultants, legal professionals, and even a process server to protect the interest of the organization. But among the challenges that completely tested everyone’s resilience, it would be the COVID-19 pandemic.
Businesses, whether big or small, faced unique challenges because of the economic impact of the pandemic. This includes employee management in terms of securing their jobs, health, and safety. Recognizing the pandemic’s strain on employees, companies are taking huge steps to support their workforce, particularly working parents, by allowing flexible work schedules and additional time off. Although these initiatives have made a significant impact and difference, they aren’t enough since time alone doesn’t fully alleviate the pressure and burden these working parents face every single day.
Working parents today are facing a hefty challenge—to become skilled multitaskers where they can take care of their children while earning for the family. But sometimes the stress and pressure of parenthood can take a toll on their productivity and performance. So what can you do more as an employer? Here are things you should consider to support working parents during the COVID-19 pandemic and other future crises.
Share education resources and information
If you think providing time offs and flexible schedules are the only way to help working parents, you’re wrong. It’s perfectly possible for employers can help parents with homeschooling children. How? One way is providing them with educational resources and information. As parents are being thrust into new and challenging roles, anything you can provide to help them acquire resources and develop new skills will be greatly appreciated. This won’t only save time and frustration, but it can also positively affect their work performance.
Discuss to your employees the online learning hubs that offer digital collections of educational videos, images, audiobooks, and other interactive elements to bring learning to life. Many learning platforms have activity timetables to help parents educate and entertain their children.
You can also create a learning hub in your employee learning platform. You can include sections containing information and resources about crafts, education, mental health, cooking, and other topics to educate your workforce. This initiative will also impact employee engagement and satisfaction to make them feel involved with your organization. At the end of the day, employees appreciate when their employers look after their needs.
Understand their immediate needs
The kind of support you can offer depends on employees’ unique situations, whether at home or work. For some, flexibility and time are enough. But for parents who feel uncomfortable and nervous teaching, they need help re-learning the skills and concepts they studied several years ago to teach effectively. Meanwhile, those who don’t have the skills to balance demands and conflicts require support to develop patience and coping skills. The only way to know these things is to understand their existing needs.
Start by having face-to-face discussions about the challenges they’re facing as a working parent. From there, you can develop plans on how to alleviate their parenting issues.
You can start by creating parent support networks to gather employees with similar parenting challenges. They can start conversations or discussions to share ideas and advice for activities and methods. This way, employees won’t feel alone in their struggles.
Another technique is to lend company laptops, specifically for employees who have multiple children and share a single PC. This allows their children to have a device to do their lessons and participate in online classes at home.
For employees with little children, you can organize contests and challenges to keep their kids engaged and busy once they’re done with school. These include themed competitions and activity packs that vary from wildlife, space, and superheroes. This approach also helps in fostering healthy parent-child relationships.
Leverage flexible schedules
A flexible approach to work isn’t enough to support working parents. This means you have to step further if you’re keen to extend help. Flexibility isn’t just about time but also work. Do this by trying other ways to lessen their workload so that they can manage teaching responsibilities at home.
If any of your employees are homeschooling kids, prevent their managers from giving them additional responsibilities. You won’t only provide a positive effect on working parents’ sanity, but also on their overall performance.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a perfect opportunity to show your support to working parents during these difficult times. The last thing you want is to let the pressures of work affect their parenting and quality of life. In the end, everyone has to work together to make life easier for everyone, no matter what the world throws at us.