The Parent Trap: Attracting and Retaining Working Parents

The Parent Trap: Attracting and Retaining Working Parents

In today’s world, with a greater number of dual-career couples and more single parents, being a working parent is more complicated and challenging than it once was. As a result, the struggle to balance the demands of work and family should be shared by employers. In addition to being a compassionate company, this makes good business sense. According to the Department of Labor, working parents comprise half of US workers between the ages of 25 and 54. Talk about a talent pool. That’s 52 million people! Here’s a few ways to make working parents feel welcomed and to accommodate their needs.

Show Your Support

If you believe as an employer that you’re a good fit for working parents, make it a central part of your company’s culture. Dedicate a section on your corporate website that showcases your commitment to this group. Incorporate videos and articles from current employees with children that illustrate how they’ve been able to achieve a healthy work-life balance and thrive at your organization. Also include a list of policies and perks that resonate with their lifestyle. If you don’t speak to working parents in a way that sways them to join your team, you’ll miss out on luring a large swatch of top talent.

Promote Employee Resource Groups

An affinity group for working parents is a great way to connect with others who understand and appreciate your situation. New parents can share common experiences and gleam inspiration and insight from others who have been there. These groups are also a practical source for disseminating valuable information that affects working parents, and can offer seminars on crucial issues that face its members. If a company is not providing for working parents in a particular way, the group can collectively rally for a cause and get it implemented. Enthusiasm is the fuel that gets most people to join a group. But in order to be viable, employee resource groups need good leadership. There needs to a mission, a budget, goals, and tangible benefits.

Provide Flexibility

Since 2016, LinkedIn has seen a 78% increase in job posts that tout work flexibility. While it’s become a big perk for many employees, it might speak loudest to working parents. Being able to work remotely and have a flexible work arrangement allows them to manage their child’s care and school schedules. Companies that make sure to schedule important meetings within regular work hours, and give working parents advance notice to accommodate work-related events are greatly appreciated. Freedom gives working parents the added benefit of saving them money. By having the time to care for their children, they don’t have to hire someone else to do it.

Working parents make dedicated, engaged, and happy employees. And although some might think tending to children diminishes their job performance, studies show it doesn’t. A 2014 study by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis found that mothers outperformed women without children over the course of a 30 year career. In fact, mothers with two kids were more productive than mothers with one child. While fathers with one child performed on par with men who didn’t have kids, those with two or more kids were the most productive.

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