Posted: 17th May 2017
The cost of replacing staff is more than the cost of an advert. When you factor in YOUR time, the loss of productivity and the cost of actually recruiting, you won’t have any change from £30,000.
Your staff, their skills, relationships and experience are the backbone of a successful business. So much effort is put into finding the right person for the job; are you risking the business by not putting in the same effort to keep them? This is an important point in their career – if handled incorrectly, you could risk losing a staff member and a stable, engaged workforce.
When parents return to work after having their parental leave (maternity, paternity or adoption) they will see the world of work differently. The person who left is not the same person returning.
However, if you take the following steps, not only could you have a pivotal role in supporting your staff, and their colleagues, through the transition back to work, you will cement your position as an attractive employer with a great work-life balance culture. If you keep up to date with the business press, you will know this is the number one “want” for job seekers. A win-win, right!
Four things you can do today to build a motivated and productive team
1. Return to work induction
Take a moment to reflect on what has changed in your business in the last six months; now the last nine; now the past year. When a parent has been off on parental leave, all those shifts have happened whilst they have been away. Changes in clients, colleagues, services, policies, products and procedures. Are you expecting your staff to just “walk back” into their role?
Have a return to work induction where the staff member is given time to re-introduce themselves to the role, re-establish relationships with colleagues, meet new ones and gain updates on what has changed over the time they are away. By all means, they can work on projects and attend meetings, but as a minimum, I recommend there should be a staged return for at least a week where there is a buffer time before the job starts. Furthermore, allow them time to get back up to speed!
2. Put a plan in place
Don’t make assumptions about the staff members career plans, their working conditions or the skills. Ask them what they want NOW and create a SMART plan to make it happen.
It is shocking to read, even in 2017, the amount of discrimination that exists for parents in business; many mothers report being overlooked for promotion or other opportunities. Sometimes the feeling of being side-lined is unintentional – but this miscommunication comes from assumptions and projections of what other would do in the same situation. So, the simple solution? Talk!
3. Be flexible
The number one “want” for employees is flexible conditions. Childcare needs are just one reason for flexibility. Staff well-being, productivity and motivation are all linked to a positive work-life balance. Look at the whole business – not just an individual, operational level for your parents. Don’t get stuck in a culture of presenteeism. Build in your success measures for the company and individuals through what is achieved rather than how long they have been at their desk!
4. Get a Mentor / Coach
The reason that most of the parents come to me for coaching, is that they believe that they have no-one they can speak to at work. They worry they will be judged or even worse lose their job if they admit they need support. Or they are being overlooked for opportunities or jobs as management is making decisions about their wants as a working parent. End result: an unexpected letter of resignation. Offering your staff a neutral person to help them reach their potential and manage the transition back to work sends one clear message “ I care about you and you matter”
How are you supporting your staff back to work? Want to find out more about how The Balance Collective can help you? Contact Clara Wilcox to create a bespoke package.
Clara Wilcox is a straight talking, practical and experienced coach helping clients navigate the tricky waters of returning to work, career changes and professional development. The Balance Collective is a social enterprise focused on improving the lives of parents, by working together to build inner confidence and promote a healthy work/life balance.