Millions of Americans have left the workforce due to the ongoing public health crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic. Women were particularly impacted since many of them had to sacrifice their job and become the primary caretakers of their children due to school and daycare closures. Many companies may be at risk of losing some of their best and brightest employees if they don’t figure out how to accommodate female workers with children.
I am a life coach who helps ambitious working moms become their best selves every day. As a result, I have valuable insight from my clients and my own personal experience as a mom with a corporate background about what companies can do to make their current culture more welcoming to women with children. Below are six suggestions that can help companies improve their retention rates for both pre and postpartum female employees.
Find out how you can support them
One of the best ways to find out how you can make your company more accommodating to new and expectant moms is to administer a survey. Ask open ended questions so you can find out more about the challenges they face and which issues are the most important to them during this time. If possible, allow them to give their opinion anonymously so they can share their opinions without worrying about retribution.
Revamp your company policies and benefits
You will have a better idea about which company policies and benefits may need to be revamped once you’ve reviewed the results of the survey. Do the majority of the women want paternity leave or an extended maternity leave? Or perhaps they would prefer a more flexible work schedule? The company can also evaluate whether it would be best to change their employee performance evaluations from time-oriented to more task-oriented.
Regardless if they want to feel more involved during team meetings or a designated parking spot for expectant moms, try to accommodate their needs whenever reasonable. Listening to your employees – and most importantly – implementing change can not only help improve your business but also make it easier to retain talented pre and post partum employees who want to be heard and acknowledged.
Start a mentorship program
A study published by McKinsey, titled ‘Women in the Workplace 2020’, reveals that women may face significant roadblocks in the workplace without the right mentorship and sponsorship opportunities. A sponsor can amplify the voice of lower level employees, while a mentor can help guide someone towards their career goals.
An official company mentor program is a great way for you to capitalize on your greatest resource, your employees. It also demonstrates the company’s commitment to nurturing their talent while allowing them to learn from a trusted advisor. Employees are likely to be more loyal and productive when companies actively invest in their professional development.
Create an employee reward and recognition program
Every employee wants to be acknowledged for their hard work. This is especially true for pre and postpartum female employees who may be tempted to quit due to feeling unappreciated or invisible. If possible, create a monthly reward and recognition program for outstanding employees. This simple and straightforward strategy will foster a positive work culture and inspire employees to improve their work ethic. Working moms will also enjoy the positive reinforcement because their efforts can still be acknowledged even if they are working from home.
Close the wage gap between your employees
A large gender pay gap impacts women across all socioeconomic and racial groups in almost every industry. Your company can take a stand and be a true advocate by closing the wage gap. By rectifying any discrepancies in the salary and benefits between your male and female employees, your pre and post partum female employees will be more likely to remain loyal to your company because they’re receiving equal pay for equal work.
Make it easier for working moms to progress in their career
Are your pre and post partum female employees anxious about potentially losing their job or a chance at a promotion because they used their maternity leave? One of the best tips for keeping female employees on maternity leave and returning moms is to develop tools and create opportunities that will allow them to advance their careers like their male counterparts.
Gladys Simen – a life coach for moms who are trying to balance their work and family life. For more inspiring articles, I encourage you to check out my blog. I publish new articles on my website every month that are meant to inspire you to live your best life. Or if you’d like to work with me I’d be happy to set up a complimentary appointment so I can learn more about your big personal and professional goals as a working mom.