Six ways employers can support mothers back to work

By: Yuliana Topazly

Date: 6 November 2017

Six ways employers can support mothers back to workStaff retention and keeping experienced staff is a major issue for most businesses, which is why encouraging women back to work after maternity leave and being able to offer flexible working options and support services is becoming an important way to retain and attract talent.

Returning mothers have specific needs; here are the six ways to support them:

1. Staff management

Companies need to adopt new approaches and offer advice and support to their working parents. 98% of working parents say they've experienced burnout. And 63% of parents who are managers are worried about the impact their working hours have on relationships with their children.

Yuliana Topazly

Some companies think that simply providing more leave is the key, especially for working parents. But to retain talent today, employers are going to have to do more than just offer a few extra days off.

2. Flexibility

Working parents need flexibility; for example, remote or flexible work arrangements, job-sharing or staggered hours. Many returning women combine work with ongoing caring commitments, which can only be achieved if they are offered flexible working arrangements.

However according to research by PwC, opportunities are constrained by the lack of flexible or part-time roles available for higher-skilled jobs.

3. Support schemes

Introduce a buddy scheme in the workplace offering support for parents by parents. When working parents need advice or motivation, they can turn to the real experts - other working parents that they can trust.

4. Mindfulness

Set up regular sessions on mindfulness and encourage working parents to develop ways to stay calm and avoid feeling overwhelmed. It is something parents can practice a few minutes each day at home, at work or during their commute - and it will make a huge difference.

Mindfulness offers a number of benefits. Laura Callisen from Working Mother says it improves your ability to concentrate, it also helps you to approach things with more acceptance and objectivity, which will help to decrease stress levels.

5. Communication

Be considerate when sending communication, use headers indicating urgency, such as "Not urgent"; "For Monday"; "FYI only"; or, if necessary, "Urgent". This simple technique can help working parents (and all employees) prioritise their workload.

6. Good Employer Charter

Sign up to a Good Employer Charter - now available in most boroughs. A big part of this is about diversity, inequality and offering flexible work arrangements. Recently the Mayor of London called on all employers to sign up to his Healthy Workplace Charter, which provides businesses with a range of tools to support staff health and wellbeing.

Finally, be sure to advertise the resources already in place. Very often employees don't know what exists or how to access resources available to them.

By helping parents return to work you can attract and retain experienced, talented staff – which will have a direct impact on your bottom line.

Sponsored post. Copyright © 2017 Yuliana Topazly is founder of BuddyWith.org.uk, a community of parents and experts, offering support, advice and the chance to share experiences.