The pandemic disrupted life as we know it, with a severe impact felt by families with children. Parents’ roles as caregivers became consuming, forcing them to balance work, childcare and schooling. While some children have gone back to school full- or part-time, working parents are still experiencing repercussions from increased caregiving responsibilities on their careers.
How can you implement workplace strategies and flexibility in your organization to support working parents?
Strive for open communication within your organization, creating an environment where individuals feel comfortable discussing matters of importance. This “person-first” approach recognizes how an employee’s experiences, needs and well-being impacts their performance and allows organizational leaders the opportunity to identify solutions that can support individuals in areas they need it the most. Consider creating specific resource groups for employees to converse about parenting and caregiving, cultivating a company culture that is inclusive and supportive.
The simplest step an organization can take to support working parents is allowing a flexible schedule. Parents who work a typical 9-5 workday will often have to balance an overlap with their caregiving duties. Instead of mandating parents be online within regulated business hours, allow for flex-time when possible. As long as the work is getting done and employees are present for required meetings, give working parents the option to work outside of regular hours when they need to. Offer support to parents who may be struggling by mutually agreeing on deadlines and bringing in additional resources when needed, especially if they are experiencing childcare changes due to the ongoing pandemic.
Recognize the impact on women
It’s important to note that while all working parents experienced disruption due to the pandemic, women, who typically spend more time on childcare than men, were disproportionately affected. One and a half million Canadian women lost or left their jobs in the first two months of the pandemic, the majority being single mothers and women with young children (RBC Economics). The pandemic continues to take its toll on working mothers, who are scaling back on their careers to take care of their children or are leaving the workforce altogether. As businesses determine the best way forward in the pandemic recovery, strive to recruit and retain diverse talent with a focus on equality.
Provide self-care and well-being tools
Working parents who balance their careers with childcare are susceptible to experiencing burnout, particularly during the stress of the pandemic. Employee wellness programs are the most efficient way to provide working parents with an accessible and personalized solution that is fun and effective. Working parents need a one-stop-shop to meet all their wellness needs, giving them a place to track their holistic well-being and ensure they remember to prioritize their health. This can, in turn, drive employee engagement, satisfaction and productivity. In bringing the convenience of self-care to an identified high-risk population, wellness programs can create sustainable health improvements among working parents.
Get in touch with our team to discover how BestLifeRewarded Innovations can support your organization with its customizable wellness program.