Becoming a parent is an exciting yet very challenging time, which should not be a barrier to success at work. Juggling both work and parenting responsibilities can lead to considerable stress and change in an employees’ personal and professional life. Supporting employers & employees to manage this transition will engage and retain talent for the long term so they feel motivated, empowered and clear about their choices and plan of action.
Prospective parents and new parents benefit hugely from a forum to share concerns, build peer support, plan and prepare for a smooth transition into parenthood.
In addition, a fundamental factor in a successful return to work is a supportive Line Manager. Managers need specific training to ease the experience and transition for employees leaving and then returning to work.
1. Pre-Parental Leave Matters
• Pre-empting challenges
• Identifying key stakeholders & sources of support
• Planning checklist – what to do when – handover
• Managing expectations about becoming a parent & parenting styles
2. During-Parental Leave Matters
• Reviewing what has and hasn’t changed and the potential impact
• Planning for a smooth transition back into the business
• Preparing for discussion with line managers, colleagues etc.
• Establishing priorities: what is important to you as a parent and what isn’t
• Preparing to leave your child, childcare options
• Strategies to deal with parenting issues in the early months
3. Post-Parental Leave Matters
• Recognising the challenges of coming back to work
• Working out how to overcome them and who can help
• Identifying new skills brought to the workplace
• Managing guilt and stress; dealing emotionally and practically with being a working parent
• Using time productively, ‘work-life merge’
Line Manager Matters
• The crucial role of the manager in the process
• Feeling equipped and confident to support employees
• What to say and what not to say
• An insight into the common challenges and anxieties parents face
• Understanding the key stages and what to do when
• Planning for a smooth leave and return back to work
• Familiarity with policies and benefits
Overall objectives for employer & employee:
• Broader understanding of the whole maternity experience and process
• Identifying the key potential challenges and knowing how to manage them
• Having a clear strategy for each stage
• Forum to talk openly in confidence about aspirations and concerns to kick start what ‘good’ looks like for both employer & employee
• Establish a network of support at work and create a more family friendly culture
• Greater feeling of confidence, control, engagement and motivation
• Better understanding of internal policy
Further consultancy support & advice
Having decades of experience, we are able to offer ongoing support and guidance on ‘best practice’ with a good overview of what works well in other companies. We can give advice on setting up Family Networks and suggesting other initiatives for working parents and women in leadership that can be put in place internally at minimal cost to the business. This has proven to make a huge difference to the overall culture and experience of parents at work.