One of life’s most exciting and rewarding periods is starting a family. However, it can also be challenging and involve a lot of new responsibilities, such as doctor visits, higher grocery bills, loss of a regular sleep schedule, and worrying about daycare. As a leader, instilling empathetic and effective work policies can help employees feel valued and supported as they raise their kids.

Paid Leave

It is widely known that the US needs to catch up to other countries regarding adequate leave time. Since no federal laws require employers to provide paid parental leave, only 11 states have those supportive policies in place. This means that the decision to provide paid medical leave can be left up to individual firms. One of the factors that employees consider when looking for a job is whether a company has a comprehensive leave plan that allows them to take care of their new child. 

Family-friendly policies increase employee engagement by providing perks that encourage work-life balance and flexibility, allowing parents and caregivers to reconcile work and their personal lives.

Flexible Schedule

Working 40 hours a week right up until the due date is standard for most people. However, it can be challenging for some parents to maintain this level of commitment since it can cause them to get stressed and distracted from the various tasks that need to be completed before the birth of their child. In addition, working until the birth of their child can also negatively affect their health.

If your employees are up until four in the morning trying to put their child back to sleep, they might not be able to stay awake during early morning meetings. Implementing a rigid schedule won’t help them stay focused on their work. Instead, encouraging flexible work hours and time off can help new parents get the job done.

Supportive Culture

Being a working parent can be tricky, especially since it involves managing unpredictability. A supportive culture can help make it easier for parents to take time off. For instance, she can work from home while she takes her kids to the doctor.

When employees return to work after taking time off, their space should be as welcoming as possible. Some companies have even created meditation rooms and breastfeeding areas in their offices. Wildbit and IBM have onsite playrooms and childcare facilities so workers can bring their kids to work while not worrying that they might distract them.