How Managers Can Support Working Parents in 2021

by Sarah Niderost, 3 minutes read
HOME blog how managers can support working parents in 2021

Your general manager clocks in at the very last minute before their evening shift. Your line cook seems preoccupied on the phone about something “being their turn”. Your host hands a lunchbox from her staff locker to someone with a child in their car. And they’re all doing it because they have something in common. They’re working parents.

As your business grows and gets busier, you want to make sure you allow your employees who are parents to have time to focus on their children. After all, keeping those employees happy and motivated is a major win-win. Read on to discover how you can support parents at your workplace.

Offer job flexibility

With school years starting at different times, holiday vacations varying, and unexpected sick days to come, many parents rely on flexible working hours to ensure their children are taken care of. Though babysitters can assist, they can be quite expensive over time.

Provide flexible hours for your working parents, and encourage them to swap shifts with their coworkers who are willing to take on the extra time. You can also pre-plan their shifts according to their childrens’ schedules by setting up agreed hours.

Let them take on evening shifts

As the rise of remote learning continues, parents are acting as scholarly sidekicks to set up a classroom at home during the day. So naturally, they’ll appreciate it if you can give them some shifts outside of school hours.

If their child is learning remotely, or it’s their turn to drop the kids off at school, offer the dinner service shifts to parents who need daytime hours away from work.

Have a great PTO policy

One way you can attract and retain working parents at your business is by giving them a great work-life balance. Especially if they can take time off during their children’s summer vacation.

Consider having a PTO bank policy that will allow employees to take off for any reason— so long as they can accrue the time off. This way, they can check their available hours to plan when they can spend time with their children.

Provide an EAP to your staff

Balancing being a parent and an employee requires a lot of work and resilience. While trying to find that balance, parents can overwork themselves, which can result in employee burnout and staff turnover. And an EAP (Employee Assistance Program) can help alleviate all of this.

With an EAP, you can provide helpful resources that will support your staff’s mental health — and some EAP’s even provide financial counseling. Look through your business’s career benefits to see how you can implement one for your team.

Communicate openly and frequently

Make sure you’re communicating clearly and transparently with your team. If anyone has a last-minute scheduling issue due to a childcare emergency, use a central platform where you can update your whole team about it. Using one gives you accountability as a manager and encourages your team to raise any concerns with you in response to sudden changes.

Elevate your employee support

As a leader, one of your main responsibilities is to be an advocate for your whole team. The best way you can be one is by focusing on how your employees can be their best. Remind your working parents that their time and priorities are your priority too.

Want to learn other ways you can ensure your employees don’t feel overworked and feel supported? Download The Work-Life Balance Checklist Every Workplace Needs and see just how easy it can be to foster a thriving workplace.

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