Consider Additional Workplace Flexibility Options
Offering paid parental leave isn't a one-size-fits-all proposition according to Care.com's Duchesne. While 12 weeks of fully paid leave as mandated by the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 is a great start implementing other similar workplace flexibility policies can be effective at increasing engagement and reducing turnover when used in conjunction with paid parental leave. "Paid parental leave isn't a silver bullet; there are other complementary programs that can be in place, too. You could offer transition programs for employees leaving or returning from leave, part-time work schedules, flexible work schedules, work-sharing and job-sharing opportunities, and the like. And when you do so, make sure these programs are easily understandable and information and resources are easily accessible," says Duchesne.
Innovation as an Added Bonus
Companies that go the extra mile to support the parents in their ranks will earn loyal, engaged employees. "Even folks that are on leave remain connected, involved and productive - they're checking in, keeping up and they're ready to hit the ground running when they return. And for the staff "left behind", they often find great growth opportunities by helping out with projects, or working with other departments or teams they wouldn't have had the chance to, otherwise," Borre says.
"This provides a good opportunity to challenge teams to adopt new ways of doing things, to innovate and adapt to new ways of doing things," says Duchesne. It's a perhaps, unexpected benefit of paid leave and flexible working programs; you're inadvertently highlighting skills in your workforce and contributing to their workplace growth and development.
How does your organization handle maternity/paternity leave? As always we love to hear your thoughts in the comments
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