People are the heartbeat of any business. Employees who are well supported are likely to feel more motivated, increase in loyalty and create better work.
According to the Office of National Statistics, In the UK, 92% of fathers and 75% of mothers are currently in work, with numbers steadily increasing. Learning how your business can best support employees with children can help you get the most from your people.
Be flexible where you can
Remote working has increasingly become part of the fabric of work in the UK. It can be an especially useful option to those employees who have childcare responsibilities, or whose plans may change with little forewarning.
Consider whether your remote working or flexible working policies are in the best shape to support employees with children, or whether they introduce unnecessary friction.
For some working parents, the ability to change their working hours may be useful. If you’ve always run a 9–5 business, is there space for somebody to work 8–4 instead? Is this reflected in your policies?
Decide what are non-negotiables for your business, and work to allow flexibility everywhere else.
Great employers know that each person in their team has individual needs, motivators and challenges. And this is true of working parents. Before you set out to change processes, listen to your employees with children.
Work to understand the unique obstacles and points of friction that they experience within the workplace. For some there may be quick fixes, while others may require a longer project of policy change.
Streamline processes and policies
If your business uses a ‘shift’ model, then streamlining the process of choosing and swapping shifts will help parents to work the number of hours they require. It will also reduce many points of stress in the process, helping working parents feel valued and motivated.
Consider what other processes in your organisation could be streamlined to help working parents. Do you have clear policies, for example, on what to do if a child or dependent is unwell? Even if your processes don’t need to change, have they been well communicated with your workforce?
Simplify access to childcare
Over half of UK mothers who work said that they have needed to make changes to their employment for childcare reasons (ONS). This includes reducing working hours, shifting from full-time to part-time work, or in some cases changing job entirely.
Supporting parents in your organisation to access childcare simply can help reduce employee turnover, as well as alleviating employee stress.
Not many businesses are equipped to provide their own childcare, so consider how you can simplify childcare for your employees. Is it possible to contract childcare through a local provider, or mitigating the cost of childcare through a salary sacrifice scheme?
Get the best from your people
At 1850 we provide specialist HR support and consultancy based around the principle that your people are your priority. Speak to us to see how you can get the best from your people.