It’s no secret that working parents are pulled in a million different directions. When juggling the competing demands of a career, parenthood, and household responsibilities, it can feel like they’re falling short on all fronts. To attract and retain top talent, organizations must acknowledge that their employees have lives outside of the office.
A recent Gallup State of the American Workplace report found that 53% of employees say a role that allows them to have greater work-life balance and better personal well-being is "very important" to them.
So, how can employers help employees—especially working parents—better navigate and manage their work and home lives?
Realize it’s not only a working mom issue
The first step toward supporting working parents is acknowledging that working moms and dads are feeling the pressure.
According to a 2015 PEW Survey of American Parents, more than half of all working parents say balancing work and family is difficult. Additionally, the number of two-parent households where both parents work full time is on the rise. In these families, moms and dads tend to equally share certain household responsibilities. Organizations must expand their view of who’s on the hook at home, and develop programs that cater to the needs of all working parents.
Offer meaningful flexibility
With the right tools and technology, today’s modern worker doesn’t always need to be in the office and at their desk to be highly productive. The responsibilities of parenthood don’t stop between the hours of 9am and 5pm. Parents can especially benefit from flexible workplace protocols, including:
- Compressed schedules (e.g., 30-hour work week at a reduced salary, while keeping employer-sponsored benefits)
- Flex arrival and departure times
- Work from home policy
- Job-share program
Companies must find the right flavor of flexibility for their business and their teams. A great place to start: ask employees which policies would enable them to do their best work, during and outside of traditional working hours.
Promote the total package
Family-friendly policies don’t just start and end with employer-sponsored HSA and FSA benefits. Companies should offer a holistic view of all the benefits that support greater work-life balance:
- Onsite healthcare opportunities - e.g., vaccinations, check-ups
- Wellness programs - e.g., yoga, massage, meditation
- Nearby/onsite fitness facilities Work-life balance workshops
- Parent peer support groups
- Flex-work policies
Employers can and should do more to show they value the total lives of their employees. It starts by creating an environment that works for, not against, its workforce. The great news for organizations: showing support for working parents doesn’t require a hefty investment. And, pro-parent policies can benefit all employees in the organization.
To learn more about what working parents need from their employers, download our newest Family and Maternity benefits checklist. How many of these benefits do you currently offer?
Ovia Health’s maternity and family benefits solution is the #1 health product for women and families. Learn how Ovia Health can help you meet the needs of this new generation.
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