Women who are pregnant, or women who may plan to have a baby in the future, take a company’s maternity leave policy into account when searching for a job. It’s a benefit that has an impact on both parties - but could your current leave policy actually be scaring top talent away?
Don’t Just Attract; Retain
It turns out that sometimes, money is everything. According to a report by the 2011 U.S. Census Bureau, women who received pay while on maternity leave were more likely to come back at all, compared to those who went unpaid.
Due to shifts in modern trends concerning what’s expected of maternity leave policies, many companies may find themselves in uncharted, competitive territory when it comes to benefit packages. If an amazing candidate finds herself stuck between choosing your company or another, don’t let a stingy maternity leave package be the reason you lose her.
A Warm Welcome
When a new mother returns to work from maternity leave, it can be hard on her. She’s constantly worrying about how her baby is doing while she’s at work. She wants to make sure that they’re getting the attention and learning that they need during such a crucial period of their life.
Giving them a personalized “welcome back” care package can be a simple way to help show new mothers that they are valued as all their coworkers. It can even ease a little bit of their worry. Such packages can include things like a membership to Amazon Family, developmental baby toys, or even a WiFi camera so the mother can check on her little one during her breaks throughout the day.
Give a Little
Having a baby is a big deal! Allowing for more time off, and compensating for it, can go a long way when it comes to maternity leave. Don’t ask her to dig into her banked time off so she can take care of not only her newborn, but also herself. Sick days are for illness. Vacation days are for exactly that.
The last thing you want to stick your employee with is sleep deprivation, uncertainty, and stress. Not forcing her to sacrifice her PTO and sick leave can give her the break she needs in order to return to work refreshed and ready to tackle just about anything.
Picture this: your colleague is out on maternity leave, and you have a major project due, with a fast-approaching deadline. You know that your absent coworker is the best fit to get this particular job done; she oversaw its ins and outs up until the day she left. Now that she’s home, she’s still willing to help, but there’s a catch: only if she can stay home while she works.
Offering the option to work remotely can be a great compromise for new moms looking for a smooth transition between time off and reintegrating into normal work life. Further extending this into her return from leave could help with retention in the long run, too. Having the option to work from home can allow her the time she needs to be there for her child should anything unexpected arise, such as a hiccup in childcare plans or an unexpected emergency.
It’s important to have women in your workforce, and it’s not just for diversity’s sake. Women tend to be great at understanding emotions and displaying empathy. They also work well under pressure. Having more women in the workplace has even been shown to improve organizational outcomes and reduce burnout.
Instead of looking at a change in your current maternity leave policy as a hassle, try to shift your perspective and see it as an investment into not only your working mothers but your office culture, too.
About the Author: Morgen is a freelance writer from the gorgeous mountains of Utah. When she's not writing, you can find her trekking across the globe and in her kitchen baking. Check out more of her work at https://hendersonmorgend.contently.com/