It goes without saying that the COVID pandemic’s effect on the job market and hiring practices was kind of like shaking an Etch-a-Sketch. Employers, employees and job seekers were all rocked by seismic changes – some of which are only now becoming apparent. For one thing, work-life balance has gone from a best practice to a must-have. And it shows in employee attitudes: A study by the advocacy and resource group Mom’s Hierarchy of Needs found that almost half of the workforce feels less committed to their jobs than before the COVID outbreak. And of that number, 99 percent reported having children at home.
To combat this loss of engagement, employers are considering ways of specifically addressing the needs of working parents.
4 Ways to Support Working Parents
Providing Caregiver Support
A Harris poll found that only 10% of employees surveyed said their job provided either childcare or a benefit to help fund it. And that’s chasing many workers away, according to Bright Horizon. Businesses would be wise to invest more resources in this crucial employee need.
Implementing Outcome-Based Work Models
For decades, businesses have operated within the structure of shift-based work. In other words, schedules were bound to the 9 to 5 (or noon to 8, or midnight to 7) format. Now, however, more companies are adopting the philosophy of “If the work gets done, we don’t care when you do it.” This outcome-based approach goes beyond flexible scheduling and is ideal for parents.
Categorizing and Prioritizing
For the outcome-based model to work, employees need to have a crystal-clear deadline for projects and assignments. That’s where managers can help by giving team members not only timelines for individual tasks but also prioritizing everything an employee has on their plate. The same principle applies to work communications. Use specific subject lines that indicate when an email should be read and/or acted on.
Offering Mental Health Care
In the post-pandemic world, people are still dealing with the anxiety and anguish COVID-19 left in its wake. And the groups hit hardest are 18–24-year-olds and mothers, according to the CDC. Take a fresh look at your Employee Assistance Programs, and find opportunities to be more aware of and responsive to mental illness.
Well-Supported Employees are Good for Business
Whether you’re a business looking to hire and retain diverse talent or a parent looking for a job that will recognize your skills and support you as a caregiver, Mega Force can help. Contact us today.