One of the hardest parts about being a working parent is losing out on time with the kids. When school gets out for spring break or summer, parents are caught in a bigger struggle. They’re forced to find babysitters or take time off from work.
As an employer, you might notice this internal struggle come out in job performance. An employee worried about her kids at home is not focused on work. She’s focused on her family.
To support better work/life balance, here are a few things you can do as an employer for your working parents.
Create a Guilt-Free Zone
One of the hardest burdens facing your working parents is guilt. They’re torn between wanting to perform their best for you and be the best parent to their children. This is a valuable time in their kid’s life and they don’t want to miss any of the major milestones or events.
To help your working parents, make your business a guilt-free zone. If a parent wants to take an extended lunch break to watch her child receive an award at school, let her without making her feel bad for the work she’s leaving behind. She will make it up to you in dividends with better customer service and productivity when she gets back to work.
Offer Childcare Services
Many childcare centers offer discounts to employers for referring parents to their facility. If you have several working parents in your office, it might be a good idea to reach out to these childcare centers to see if that’s an option for your business too. The more discounts you can provide and the more you show your working parents that you’re trying to help, the more likely you will be to retain your best employees.
Offer Flexible Scheduling if Possible
For short durations where kids are out of school for holidays, offer your employees flexible work options. They’ll be more inclined to want to keep your trust and work hard at home because they’ll appreciate the flexibility.
Help Them Maintain an Organized Family Calendar
Parents are busy. Between soccer practice and dance recitals, parents are constantly running their kids back and forth to different events. Their home schedules are hectic, but that doesn’t mean their work schedules have to be just as frazzled.
Make it easy for your working parents to manage their home life by keeping their work schedule simple. Using scheduling apps that they can access from their smartphone can help. You give your employees one less thing to worry about while trying to coordinate their family calendar because they can always login and see which shifts they’re scheduled for.
Allow Connection Breaks
You allow your smokers to take smoke breaks. Why not allow your parents to take connection breaks?
Connection breaks allow your parents an easy way to check in with their kids while they’re at work. Giving your employees these breaks shows them you care. As an employer, you’ll benefit because the working parents will have less worry about what’s happening with their family. They’ll always be in the know, which can help them focus better on the tasks at hand in work.
Making it All Work
It’s not easy to make it all work. Working parents are pulled between wanting to earn a healthy living for their family and being together with the people they love. The easier you can make this on your working parents, the more likely you will be to have a productive, happy workforce.
Author Profile Jon Forknell is the Vice President and General Manager of Atlas Business Solutions, Inc., a software marketing company specializing in employee scheduling software, including ScheduleBase employee scheduling software, and other business software solutions. In the past, Jon has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Atlas Business Solutions was named as one of Software Magazine’s Top 500 Software Companies in 2004 through 2007 and again in 2010, 2013 and 2014