Today, working parents face unprecedented stress as they bravely weather through the storm that is the pandemic while making ends meet for their families. It gives companies all the more a reason to create programs that celebrate their hard work and motivate them to do their best against odds. Here are some welfare program trends we can observe in the corporate world:
The survey done by Robert Half Research this November reveals an increase in the number of managers, specifically 41% of the 2,800 senior manager participants, who agree with the idea of allowing employees to work in their preferred hours. The same survey suggests that the growing support for flexible working hours mostly comes from the marketing, legal, and administrative departments of companies. While the management leaves the decision up to the employee, this trend works in favor of working parents.
If allowed, a parent can change his working schedule to later in the day, so he can use the extra hours in the morning to attend to his children who may or may not be attending school. Moreover, he can also allot other hours in the evening when the children have settled to sleep, and so he can focus better on his unfinished tasks.
With the help of online collaborative tools like Slack and Google applications, he can worry less about reporting, submitting output on time, and staying in the loop of deadlines. At the same time, these tools ease the monitoring of work performance for team leaders.
Many executives, especially those who have first-hand experience at parenting, know how much of a struggle it could be to juggle work and home especially if their child was just born. Having to cyclically switch hats especially during work-from-home exacerbated this challenge. Understanding how dire their situation is, empathetic leaders, enact transformative policies in favor of working parents.
One good example is Marissa Shipman, CEO of cosmetics company The Balm who, even after being told by her team that there could not be a nursery in their office, went out of her way to build one. It is because, aside from having a lot of working mothers on board, she knew well how a child’s bond with his mother is crucial during these formative years. Likewise, she wanted to keep her valuable team members who are behind her company’s success, and so she had to do something to pay it forward for them.
If not a full-on daycare facility, the least a company can grant working parents is allowing them to bring their kids to work. Now that people are divided whether they are willing to go back to the office or stay working at home and that there seems to be a consensus toward a combination between the two, a hybrid working arrangement may be favorable to working parents, but it is still up for them to discern after trying the setup.
Such a hybrid arrangement may just fulfill their need to break the monotony of having no divide between work and home from time to time. Besides, depending on how safe it is for their children, they could bring them someplace for a fresh experience and even meet new people. A breastfeeding station and, if the company’s finances would permit, a milk bank are also important for newborn moms, especially single ones.
There is no question how helpful paternity and maternity allowances are especially for first-time parents. But, to include working parents with studying children, a company could give out exclusive items as an expression of support. They could give childcare bundles that include hygiene kits, treats, and school supplies.
To make the gifts more heartfelt, they could tap on partner plastic molding manufacturing companies to create customized gifts including educational or STEM toys or sporting goods. Of course, it is important to profile your employees’ children and note their likes and dislikes.
As we steadily bring back a semblance of normalcy, bringing back the good old company events must be in everyone’s heads. Holding activities that are more apt for working parents and their families are never a bad idea too. A company can schedule an annual field day wherein there is a good mix of adult and child-friendly games and a photo booth provision so families can seal this event as a memorable one.
The recovery of businesses from economic downturns requires employees to double their efforts. We know what this means for working parents, and so their employers should also step up in providing them their needs as much as possible.