6 Ways Employers can Support Working Parents

Family of four enjoying an afternoon at the park.

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Post-pandemic, the work environment across the board is changing, especially for parents.

Whether one or both parents work, it’s no secret that work-life balance comes with a myriad of challenges for both working parents as well as their employers. This is even more true for parents that are in the hospitality and restaurant industries where the demands are higher and scheduling flexibility may be limited without the right tools.

Here are 6 ways that your business can support parents and alleviate some of their burdens.

1. Offer flexibility in work schedules

Soccer practice

For many if not most parents, flexibility is practically a necessity. Whether it be dropping kids off at school, picking them up if they’re sick, or bussing them to various after-school activities, parents need flexibility to stay on top of family obligations.

That being said, there is often additional unpredictability in the restaurant and hospitality industries as employees may need to cover each other’s shifts or more hands may be necessary during peak times.

It is still possible however to allow flexible hours for your parents provided that you have a good system in place for tracking time and communicating with coworkers and management.

For example, TimeForge offers a labor management solution with integrated shift swapping and availability requests. This allows HR, managers, and employees to stay in sync and seamlessly manage scheduling, time off requests, and payroll.

2. Provide a relocation package

New parents working on laptop

If your employees need to move to a new location for work, the cost of living will impact how much house they can afford, as well as other expenses.

For working parents, this is even more important as there will be additional costs associated with having children. 

In this package, you can include housing assistance. This could take the form of buying or selling assistance, moving services, travel help or reimbursement, and more.

A relocation package will make your business more attractive to new talent and existing employees, as well.

3. Supply remote work stipends

If your business has adopted a hybrid model, it may be beneficial to provide your employees with a remote work stipend.

These are funds given to cover office equipment, supplies, or just little things needed to make work-from-home comfortable. It could even be spent on morning coffee!

Though this might seem like a minor fringe benefit, providing extra funds can increase productivity tremendously.

For working parents, it may be more difficult to find a quiet space for a meeting or to grab some focus time. The purchase of noise-canceling headphones, a room divider, or a comfortable seat cushion would go a long way with parents.

Not to mention, providing this stipend to all of your employees will increase their overall appreciation and satisfaction. 

4. Offer parental leave

Father and son cleaning

Oftentimes, hourly workers have little to no access to paid parental leave. This can lead to a whole host of economic and health problems for employees.

On the other hand, paid parental leave will increase employee retention and productivity as well as provide many other benefits to your business.

Both men and women who return to work may feel an increased sense of morale and general well-being after being given ample time to adjust to a new child.

Because the restaurant and hospitality industries often struggle with staffing issues, offering paid parental leave could contribute to a more positive environment for both onboarding and retaining employees.

5. Offer childcare support

If you have employees that may be struggling financially as first-time parents or those looking to expand their families, you’ll want to encourage them to take a holistic look at their finances.

Childcare costs are something that needs to be factored in when determining major life decisions.

A company that offers child care to employees has an advantage in recruiting and retaining parents. Many parents that have access to affordable, high-quality child care are more productive in the workplace.

While you may not be able to offer on-site care for children, you could provide childcare subsidies or partner with a local child-care center that has programs offering discounts for your employees – such as a referral program. 

6. Encourage transparency and communication

Parent teacher conference

Finally, communication and transparency between HR, management staff, and employees are vitally important for any company with working parents on the roster.

By encouraging employees to communicate with and support one another, you are creating an environment where productivity and collaboration can thrive. This will also serve to decrease employee turnover and anxiety – especially for first-time parents.

One method for achieving this is to set up an employee resource group, or ERG, for parents in your business. These groups offer a safe space for parents to share tips and resources and to get to know each other. It’s a great way to support parents’ mental health and morale. 

If you’re wondering why this is such a priority, remember that supporting your hardworking employees with children can be incredibly beneficial for your business. Your support will boost morale, as your employees will appreciate being supported in their lives outside of work.

It will also mean they’re confident in staying at their place of employment for the long run, which helps to reduce costs spent on recruiting and training new employees.

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is one of the most important factors in building strong employee engagement and keeping motivation high.

Takeaways on supporting working parents

Mother high fiving child

Supporting, or even hiring, working parents is a great way to strengthen your business, as these individuals know how to get things done. They have so much experience in multi-tasking, prioritizing effectively, developing creative ideas, and paving the way as leaders.

Putting systems in place that help the working parents on your staff will boost your business’s success tremendously.

Creating a caring, supportive work environment for parents in your business can go a long way in helping not only you and your employees, but can also help the community as well.

By taking action in the ways listed above, your company can build a reputation that will help your business grow.

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