4 Ways to Foster a Family-Friendly Culture Through Parental Leave

Aug 07, 2017
| Michael Altiero
Parental leave and company culture

Workplace culture has been growing in importance for both employers and employees. Today, companies actively try to develop cultures that improve employee performance and happiness, increase retention, improve their employer brand and help with recruiting efforts.

One way companies have tried to improve their overall company culture is by fostering a family-friendly workplace. This can take the form of several activities, such as: company events where employees can bring their spouses and children, having a “bring your child to work” day and providing a better work-life balance. 

However, there’s another area were some companies are looking to make improvements in order to improve their overall culture: addressing their parental leave polices. Today’s workforce (especially younger employees) have much different expectations when it comes to parental leave. For example, more and more employees want paternity leave, which is a rather new development when companies consider their parental leave polices.

Glassdoor recently took a closer look into parental leave and the benefits a strong policy can have for businesses. The results showed just how important parental leave is for today’s workforce and the companies who address this key benefit. But how can your organization improve your parental leave policy and foster a more family-friendly culture?

Let’s take a closer look at some of Glassdoor’s findings and other tips to improve parental leave policies.

1) Listen to Your Employees

The best way to craft a parental leave policy that your employees will love is by actively listening to them and their feedback. Surveying your employees is a great way to obtain some of the information needed to craft a competitive parental leave policy. In addition to employee surveys, employers may also find helpful feedback by checking their company’s Glassdoor account. Employees use company review sites to make suggestions on how the business can improve. Since they are anonymous, some employees may feel more comfortable using these sites.

Another useful resource, although not directly from your employees, is to take a look at your competitors (both for business AND talent) to see what/if they offer for parental leave. These policies are great tools for recruitment and retention, so staying on par with or ahead of the competition can help your company in more ways than one!

2) Keep Employees Informed On Parental Leave Policies

This holds true for all benefits offered by an organization. If employees are unaware of parental leave policies, especially if there are any important changes or updates, it can negatively affect the family-friendly culture you’re trying to build. To make sure employees are fully aware of your leave benefits, be sure to include them in annual benefits enrollment packages. In addition, be sure to announce any upcoming family leave changes to the company.

Lastly, don’t forget to make parental leave information readily available. This can be done in a few ways:
  • Links to policies on company intranet sites
  • Having the policy included in employee handbooks
  • Including parental leave information during the onboarding process

3) Have Leadership Set the Example

One of the best ways to encourage employees to fully take advantage of parental leave policies is by having business leaders use them. When employees see management using parental leave, it encourages the entire workforce to do so, too. It also helps boost company values and culture, setting the expectation that employees can talk with leadership about their own potential leave situations without having to worry.

4) Promote Your Family-Friendly Employer Brand

Once your organization has gone through the efforts to create, enhance and implement a strong parental leave policy, marketing it should be a goal, especially for talent acquisition and HR. Employer branding is really important to talent today, so showing off your family-friendly culture and parental leave policy can help you stand out among potential candidates.

Be sure to include benefits on company career sites, and don’t be afraid to guide candidates to this page. Also, don’t forget about updating Glassdoor, too. Candidates check out review sites more often than you think, so keeping your account up-to-date is incredibly important.

Lastly, don’t forget to use other resources to promote your culture and brand. Social media is a great tool to do just this, as is blogging and other content creation activities. Whether through career-specific pages or through official company accounts, there are plenty of benefits to marketing your family friendly and parental leave benefits.

Parental Leave Policies Benefit Employees and their Employers

One thing that should not be overlooked when crafting a parental leave policy is the mutual benefits it can have for employees and their organization. Not only does a strong policy boost employee morale and improve the culture of the organization, but it also greatly improves retention rates. Great parental leave policies even encourage employees to return to work after their leave ends. The value these outcomes can have on a business are well worth the effort.

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