Many working parents are preparing for the start of the upcoming school year, a process that’s more complex in the wake of the pandemic. Certain resources that parents once relied on to ease the transition may not be available. Additionally, fears about resurgences hang over the heads of many.
Employers can make a difference in this equation. By supporting working parents during this challenging time, they can make it easier for employees to balance their work and personal responsibilities. If you are wondering how your company can help, here are some tips.
Three Ways to Support Working Parents This Back to School Season
Review Employee Benefits with Team Members
Often, employees have access to benefits that can assist them with maintaining work-life balance, such as paid leave, after-school program discounts, and backup childcare. Before the school year begins, review the benefits that could make parents’ lives easier. That way, they know what options exist and what it takes to tap them.
Offer Flexibility, But Make Sure It’s Fair
Flexible schedules can be a boon for working parents. It gives them a level of agility, allowing them to handle parental responsibilities when needed and work on non-traditional schedules, at least on occasion.
However, you want to make sure that any flexibility you offer is available to all, not just working parents. For one, there are other employees who can benefit from the arrangement. For another, only providing the benefit to parents may be viewed as a form of favoritism, harming morale and your company’s culture.
Additionally, you want to integrate some accountability into the program. Advanced planning for schedule adjustments should be the norm, with last-minute changes only happening during legitimate emergencies. Similarly, the burden of an adjustment made by parents shouldn’t unfairly fall on the employee’s nonparent colleagues, creating a sense of inequity.
Connect with Employees
Sometimes, simply asking how an employee is doing goes a long way. Find out how their children are adapting to going back to school. Listen to concerns parents may have about their kids returning to the classroom.
By having these conversations, you show that you care about your team beyond what they can do at work. Plus, you may learn about opportunities to offer support outside of what’s outlined above. In the end, every parent’s needs are unique, but you may not know what they are if you don’t have meaningful discussions about what’s occurring in their lives.
However, you don’t want to stop with parents. All professionals are dealing with unique stresses relating to the pandemic. By connecting with each member of your team, you can figure out how you can be there for them as well, ensuring everyone is getting what they need to thrive in both their professional and personal lives.
Ready to Learn More?
If you would like to learn more about how you can support working parents during back-to-school time, as well as how you can be there for your entire team, the staff at TempStaff can help. Check out more of our latest blog posts here. Need hiring help? Take the next step and contact us today!