Parent Scheme supports working parents, so as you can imagine, the business has taken on a whole new role during the pandemic!
Helen and Lindsay shared some fantastic tips on how businesses can create a successful parent strategy. We also got some examples of how real businesses have adapted and implemented new strategies during the pandemic.
I’ve summarised their key points in this blog which I hope will be useful for you!
To be honest, under the current circumstances, this isn’t really a question HR teams and business leaders are asking anymore! It’s now widely accepted that businesses need a strategy to support working parents. So instead, the question has become ‘how can we implement a working parent strategy in our business?’
Unfortunately, there isn’t an easy answer. Of course, the circumstances of every business are different, so tailor the approach to your organisation.
Research has shown that early-stage workers in particular look at what companies offer over and above the job spec. This can include things like diversity and wellbeing schemes – including how the company looks after parents. Another great reason to focus on refining your strategy!
To create a parent offering, you need to consider the specific circumstances of your business.
One thing that varies a lot between organisations is demographics, and that includes the number of people with children. But things like employment statistics, legislation in your country, and parental leave data will also have an impact.
But remember, the parents who need the support won’t always be the same. Lindsay and Helen told us that towards the end of lockdown, the parents who were seeking the most support were parents of teenagers. You can thank results day for that!
Lindsay and Helen told us that one of the common challenges when creating a parent strategy is engaging the business stakeholders.
Often, employee networks within a business are the real drivers of parent strategies because they’re most in touch with the needs of the company. The only problem is that they aren’t always plugged into the wider HR strategy and usually lack the power to make large-scale change.
So when implementing a parental strategy, be sure to involve your wider team and ask them what they want and need.
More specifically, speak to your team to identify what the wider issues are for working parents in your organisation. Find out what support they’re looking for, as well as what type of policy would work for them.
These are some useful questions from Lindsay and Helen to consider when putting in place a parent offering, to ensure it meets the needs of your team:
At this point in time, your business will still need to stay reactive to current circumstances, like the potential for local lockdowns and schools closing again.
This pandemic has changed what it means to be a working parent. In a lot of ways, this means parent strategies are a little trickier to implement, but you’ll be pleased to know that there are positives!
The main one being the increased openness and honesty around home life, children, and childcare. Working from home makes it impossible to hide the screaming toddler in the background so it’s now accepted!
This means HR have a better understanding of your team’s life outside of work. It also means you can offer more tailored support for employees to help create a better work-life-balance for teams.
As an increasing number of us return to the office, it’s important to remember what we’ve learned.
I think that those who try to make their business return to the way it was before lockdown will struggle. And those who keep an open mind will be much more successful.
A massive thanks to Lindsay and Helen for sharing these insights with us! For more tangible tips and expert insight, visit the Parent Scheme website.
And don’t forget to keep an eye out for details of my next event – coming soon!