How to make your business more attractive to working parents

Balancing work and family life can be a challenge for many, and employers need to offer family-friendly policies to attract and retain talent. Here are some top tips for making your business more attractive to working parents.

3 mins read
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about 1 year ago

​'Back to the office' is a relevant topic around the world at the moment. According to data from Eurostat, as of 2019, In the European Union (EU), nearly 42 million adults lived in households with at least one child aged less than six years. Almost one third of these adults (32%) lived in households where all adults were working full time. It's vital that businesses offer family-friendly policies to make their organisation attractive to parents looking to return to work, and also to their existing workforce.

Parents possess many skills that are highly valuable to businesses, such as excellent time management, organisational and problem-solving skills, as well as experience working under pressure and managing competing priorities. Their presence helps to create a diverse and inclusive workplace which can improve employee morale and engagement.

In this competitive labour market, implementing family-friendly policies can increase your talent pool and boost your employee value proposition. Here are some top tips for making your business more attractive to working parents:

Provide flexible working

Flexible working is key for parents who often have busy schedules and need to work around school times and childcare hours. If there are no set restrictions on what times they need to be working, allow employees to set their own schedules. In addition, allowing employees to work from home can help parents establish a better work-life balance.

Introduce on-site childcare facilities

While on-site childcare facilities may not be suitable for smaller companies, employers with large offices, where staff are required to be in the office five days a week, should consider this provision. This can ensure parents have childcare for the hours needed for their role and allows them to spend time with their children during breaks, which is particularly useful for mothers who are breastfeeding and need to be close by.

Offer generous parental leave

When employees know their employer values their role as a parent and supports their need for family time, they are more likely to remain loyal to the company. Additionally, having time to bond with their child and adjust to their new family dynamic means they will likely be better mentally and emotionally prepared to return to work and be productive in their role.

Consider job sharing

This concept may be unfamiliar to many businesses but is becoming more popular. Job sharing can give two employees the work-life balance they need to prevent them from leaving altogether, and helps your business attract new professionals seeking part-time employment. While it’s not just parents who may seek part-time work, being flexible and understanding that work-life balance is important for families, will make your business more attractive to working parents.

Cultivate a family-friendly culture

Many parents often get left out of after-work activities due to childcare responsibilities. Holding regular events, where employees are encouraged to bring their families, will cultivate a supportive and welcoming company culture that will foster loyalty.

Check your biases

Historically, there has been a misconception that parents, particularly mothers, are less dedicated to their jobs and this bias is still plaguing the workplace today. As such, mothers often get overlooked for promotions or pay rises. Make sure these biases are not influencing business decisions in your company and provide managers with the right training and development so they do not make discriminatory decisions.

Extend health insurance to families

Private health insurance is a highly sought-after company benefit – but to parents, the health of their children takes priority. Ideally, employees should have the ability to include their children on their insurance policy.

Ask your employees!

The best way to ensure you are offering benefits that are meaningful to your employees is to ask them. Conduct regular surveys to establish the benefits and policies most important to them and above all, listen to their suggestions and implement changes where possible.

If you are looking for the next talented professional to join your team, or seeking a new opportunity yourself, get in contact with your Reed local office today.

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​Employee monitoring can help ensure productivity and accountability among employees, as managers can track their work progress and identify areas where improvement is needed. Monitoring enhances data security by detecting and preventing unauthorised access or data breaches and additionally, it enables you to adhere to regulatory and compliance requirements, reducing legal risks. 

The key thing to remember is that workplace surveillance is perfectly acceptable, as long as you can legally justify your reasons, and it is always better to be ‘overt’, not ‘covert’.  

A report shows that despite normality returning to working life post-pandemic, demand for employee surveillance software is 49% above 2019 levels. 

Our eBook, ‘Employee monitoring: a guide to best practices’, provides insight from top experts in the field including:    

Keith Rosser, Director of Group Risk and Reed Screening, Reed 

Hayfa Mohdzaini, Senior Research Adviser, CIPD

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Workplace monitoring: guidance for your organisation
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In the past, workplace monitoring was relatively simplistic: employers relied on visual supervision and basic timekeeping systems, and the concept of privacy was limited.

Fast forward to the digital age. Employee monitoring has reached new levels of sophistication and become common practice for employers seeking to boost productivity, enhance security, and ensure compliance with regulations.

Improved productivity and deeper insights

With the advancement of technology, including GPS tracking, computer monitoring software, and biometric identification systems, surveillance can provide employers with detailed insights into employee activities and performance.

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Balancing surveillance and ethics

Despite the clear advantages of employee monitoring, it is crucial for organisations to approach this practice with sensitivity and respect for staff privacy. As a matter of course, employers should establish clear policies regarding monitoring practices, communicate openly with employees about the purpose and scope of monitoring, and ensure transparency in the use of monitoring tools.

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Introducing different perspectives into your workplace provides a fresh take on the business as a whole. Even though interns won't be responsible for creating new policies or planning a strategy, their outside opinion may improve existing practices.

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There’s a bigger picture to internship programs. Many individuals, especially recent graduates, may face challenges when embarking on a new career path. Those lucky enough to win internships will reap the benefits that come from the experience, not just in adding to their CV, but in self-confidence gained from developing knowledge of their chosen profession, all while making valuable contacts.

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