Working parents already have a lot to deal with in terms of childcare, school, and related issues. Adding in the uncertainty of navigation through the coronavirus pandemic can make everything more stressful.
Disruptions in childcare and school can make it even more difficult for working parents to fulfill their personal and professional responsibilities. This can lead to feelings of overwhelm.
Stress from external circumstances can cause your employees’ work to suffer. This impacts engagement, productivity, morale, and turnover.
As a manager, you should be taking steps to provide additional support for your employees, especially those who are parents. This helps increase retention and company growth.
The following are five ways you can provide support for your employees, especially the ones who are parents.
1. Provide Flexibility
Offer remote or hybrid work. Having control over their schedule and work environment helps your employees balance their personal and professional needs. This increases work engagement while alleviating some of the frustrations working parents face. It also shows care and compassion for your employees.
2. Maintain Communication
Provide clear and consistent communication. This helps working parents balance the demands of their personal and professional lives. The ongoing changes that occur with school and childcare situations may lead to last-minute changes or an inability to find other childcare options.
Keep in touch with your employees through phone calls, emails, or video chats. Provide updates and show support. Offer work schedule adjustments, reassign urgent projects, or discuss other ways to alleviate some pressure.
Reassure your employees that you understand their situations and their jobs are not in jeopardy. This provides peace of mind as working parents continue to navigate uncertainties in their personal lives.
3. Offer Unique Benefits
Consider offering subsidies for childcare and elder care. This can benefit your employees whether or not they have kids. These benefits show compassion for your employees’ personal circumstances.
4. Encourage Breaks
Emphasize the need to have set work hours and take breaks throughout each day. This encourages your employees not to work early in the morning, late at night, or throughout an entire day.
Remind your employees to step away from their desks during breaks. Encourage them to take walks, meditate, or read. Fresh air and engagement in nonwork activities promotes feelings of rest. This increases focus and productivity when your employees return to their tasks.
Encourage your employees to use all of their paid time off each year. Spending time with family and friends is very important for physical and mental health.
5. Show Empathy
Display compassion for your employees. Filling multiple roles as an employee, parent, teacher, and/or caregiver can be stressful.
Take the time to listen to your employees. Understand the responsibilities they deal with on a daily basis. Remind them that things will not always be this challenging.
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