With the summer ending, many employers look to increase productivity and finish the year strong financially. However, the transition from summer into the fall season can be stressful for many working parents who struggle to balance their jobs with family obligations. With the back-to-school season bringing an entirely new set of commitments and home schedules for your employees, there are ways in which employers can help parents ease into this busy time of year with more focus, clarity, and balance. Here are three impactful ways in which your leadership team can support parents during the back-to-school season:
Offer and promote flexibility.
Promoting flexible work policies to your staff is a major component of employee retention. Even if your company offers flexible scheduling or remote opportunities, your employees may not be fully educated about their options – or worse, they may not feel comfortable taking advantage of these benefits. There’s no better time than a back-to-school season to refresh your staff about policies regarding flexible hours and how this type of scheduling can help them achieve a better balance between work and their home lives. Workplace flexibility comes in many forms, including flextime (a schedule based on a set number of hours per week), compressed workweeks, part-time schedules, and job sharing. Establishing flexible policies that work best for your company and discussing these options with your staff will give your employees the opportunity to design a work schedule that aligns best with their children’s schedules – especially as school sports and activities ramp up in the fall!
Establish a remote work model.
Remote work models can be extremely beneficial for employees in today’s world, especially for parents who are constantly faced with childcare demands and commitments. Even if your company can’t feasibly operate with an entirely remote workforce, offering some remote work options can prove to be very beneficial for parents with busy schedules. There are several types of remote work models all with varying structures. Some remote work examples include “office-first” (remote-friendly) work models and flexible hybrid models. No matter what model you implement, the opportunity to work remotely in some capacity can be life-changing for many of your employees. Studies continually show that working from home has many benefits for parents, including greater productivity, more time with their families (due to no commute), and a better-quality home life. Remote work gives parents the autonomy they crave to work in an environment in which they can also juggle commitments, such as driving their child to school in the morning or taking a break during the afternoon to have lunch with their families. These are factors that enhance parents’ sense of work-life balance and ultimately contribute to greater employee satisfaction and improved morale.
Foster open communication.
When parents feel stressed and have nowhere to turn, it’s important they feel comfortable expressing their concerns about work-life balance with their managers. Building a culture that fosters open communication and a “safe space” between managers and subordinates is one of the most instrumental ways to encourage your staff to come to management with their struggles. When managers are informed about employees’ challenges regarding balancing work and their personal lives, they can formulate solutions that specifically address the problems at hand. For example, if an employee feels overextended from a project that’s requiring longer hours, their manager can work with them on adjusting expectations for the assignment. Training your management team on how to handle these types of situations is essential for building employee trust and loyalty. Employees who are inclined to discuss their personal challenges with managers will be more secure in their jobs and connected to their work environment. On the same token, managers who care about their employees’ personal lives and work with them on finding solutions to their struggles will ultimately have a positive impact on staff retention. Overall, effective and transparent communication is at the core of employee satisfaction, playing a key role in preventing burnout before it has detrimental effects on your organization.
By proactively building a culture that embraces work-life balance among staff and affords parents flexibility in their day-to-day schedules, you’ll attract and retain hardworking employees at your company. A sustainable culture that values employees’ talents beyond the workplace and recognizes the need to support parents will become one of your company’s biggest assets. Over time, your employees will feel empowered to enjoy a healthy work-life balance that allows them to be present parents while finding fulfillment in their careers at your organization.
Planning to expand your team this fall and find top-quality talent? Get in touch with HH Staffing, a leading temp agency with offices throughout Florida, and learn how we can assist with your recruitment and hiring efforts.
Until Next Time,
Your Staffing Partner, Darrin Rohr- President, CEO, and Chief Servant
Current owner of HH Staffing and Former Chief HR Officer for several successful Multinational Fortune 500 Companies. Brings a fresh perspective from decades of experience creating Great Workplace Cultures by building high-performance teams while leading and managing people from all different backgrounds. HH Staffing is headquartered in Sarasota, Florida, and is uniquely positioned to serve both local and national clients.