Ways Small Businesses Can Support Working Parents

Ways Small Businesses Can Support Working Parents

Published: June 01, 2022

If you are or have ever been a working parent, you know how hard it is to juggle childcare responsibilities with a career. As Father’s Day approaches, evaluate ways you can support your employees who are parents; you may be able to offer them some resources that you wish you’d had yourself. Doing so can be a smart choice for your business as well. It can give you a recruiting edge in the tight labor market and enhance employee satisfaction and loyalty, which can reduce costly turnover. Here are some ways you can support workers who are parents.

  • Guarantee equal treatment for men and women. Ensure that women will not be discriminated against or penalized for pregnancy or family responsibilities during or after the hiring process. Work with them to ensure that they have access to the benefits, work flexibility, and other supports they need. Remember that fathers need supportive options too, particularly when they have newborn infants at home.
  • Allow for a flexible work schedule, including telecommuting days. All employees can benefit from flexible work schedules that include work-from-home days, especially college students and people with long commutes. However, parents need to be home with their children most, especially when their kids are very young. Providing parents with flexible working options allows them to do more for their children, but also more for your company.
  • Focus on outcomes. Establish weekly and monthly goals for each role as well as a regular meeting schedule. As long as your employees meet their goals, attend meetings, and are responsive communicators, allowing them to accomplish their work with the schedule and locations that work best for them shouldn’t hinder company productivity.
  • If possible, offer parental leave and encourage employees to use it. Although there are no federal requirements for such leave for most employees, there may be state laws governing this where your business operates. And although it’s ideal to provide paid parental leave, even offering unpaid leave can be a lifesaver to new parents (or parents of new children). And, again, fathers need parental leave too!
  • Provide parents with as many childcare resources as possible. Consider partnering with a childcare service provider if possible, or assess the feasibility of parents occasionally bringing their children to work. At a minimum, gather information on state and community childcare resources and share it with your employees.

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