Become the employer of choice for working parents

Rose McCarter-Field

By Rose McCarter-Field

Want to become the employer of choice for motivated working parents? How in 2022 can you adapt your working practices to attract more skilled parents into your company?

And how as an employer, can you effectively support parents returning to work?

Losing top talent is a massive expense in money and time for any team. When we have staff members and contractors that we can trust to carry out their work to a high standard without detailed monitoring, it makes our lives as managers significantly easier. And it makes our company run more smoothly. So keeping top talent for me, is a priority.

In the current work climate, enabling staff to live their best life, is a big win for staff retention. Parents are at the forefront of this movement. With multiple high priority tasks at home and at work, parents are increasingly seeking a job that improves their work-life balance. But how as an employer can you provide this?


Understand Their Needs

Develop an understanding of their lives. How much support do they have? How do they share their responsibilities at home? What events or day-to-day activities would they like to attend? Get to know what they care about and what their work prevents them from doing. Take time to understand how their work commitments increase their home stresses.

Find out which aspects of home life they have CHOSEN to sacrifice, to work with you.


Know What You Need

How often do you need people in the office? And at what times? How much flexibility can you give, whilst ensuring your team(s) are carrying out their jobs successfully and communicating effectively?

It is important to be clear about what you need from your staff, and for these expectations to be reflected in your reporting and appraisal processes. This will provide a clear line between flexibility and work expectations.


Be Flexible

Be open to changes in working practices that will improve the lives of your team members. You CAN positively impact their lives and the lives of their whole family, simply by being flexible.

Some staff may benefit from flexible working hours, others from going part time or a job share. Others may benefit from changing their working hours, or having the ability to work from home.


Prevent Negative Impact

It’s important to consider the impact of your flexibility. For example, a member of staff in my team reduced their hours to 3 days. They now work from Tuesday to Thursday. However, this would mean that if I or a client wanted to get in touch with them on Friday, they would not get the message until Tuesday. So, we built in buffers of time to enable timely communication. We created a 0.1 hour buffer, so that messages are checked and responded to on Monday and Friday, enabling us to maintain our reputation of seamless and timely communication.

Or as an alternative, 5 half days may be a better option, from the perspective of you as a manager. This enables you to contact them every day, and enables them to collect the children from school every day.


Understand what they need, be clear about what you need, and create a flexible culture that benefits everyone.