Throughout the UK, employers struggle to retain quality employees that are so essential for succession and progression. Employers are continually faced with challenges in attracting, retaining, and developing a diverse workforce and leadership teams. Top candidates for advancement may experience gender bias and barriers in the workplace, particularly if they take time away from their career to parent a child or children.
At the same time, employees push for (and legislation requires) employers to provide family-friendly working policies and practices to support Mums and Dads – who want to take time out of their careers for their family. Women in particular often face penalties and reduced opportunities for professional advancement due to maternity leave, limiting their ability to move into leadership roles later on, often known as the ‘maternity penalty’.
Organisations are sometimes unprepared to address the needs of women and men taking maternity, paternity, shared parental or adoption leave. We use the umbrella term ‘Family Care Leave’. At best, employers offer support before leave, but this is typically focused on the task – on exiting the job and producing handover notes and passing over workload to their replacement. Whilst this is beneficial to the business, it provides little in the way of support to help parents-to-be to adjust to a major new stage of life, emotionally or practically.
During leave, parents often struggle with staying connected to their job and professional identity. They may feel unsupported and lacking a place in the organisation, which creates feelings of isolation and disconnection from their career. This sense of disconnect can become a barrier to returning to work and continuing their professional growth and development. Parents on maternity or paternity leave often feel “out of the loop” as to industry trends, organisational changes and implementation of new protocols, practices and expectations.
Following leave, parents have to make another significant adjustment in their thinking and their day-to-day routines. As working Mums and Dads, it’s important to develop a healthy work/life balance. This is essential to prevent burnout and feelings of being overwhelmed with the responsibilities of having a career and caring for a child or children. Parents may also be less likely to continue their professional growth if they do not have support to help them understand their potential and strive to reach their career goals.
Our Family Care Leave services
At CM Talent, we recognise the challenges employers of all sizes and across all industries experience-when trying to implement support for new parents on their own. Expertise, insight and experience in working directly with parents on career breaks through our Career-Mums service provided us with a real-world understanding of what both employers and working parents require- in an effective, affordable and proactive range of support.
We developed the CM Talent Family Care Leave services to address these requirements.
Our Family Care Leave services provide Essential, Standard, and Premium level support for employees, optimising their ability to have a smooth return to work after maternity, paternity or adoption leave.
Each of our service levels provide comprehensive support and education to address issues specific to pre-leave, during leave and post leave as parents return to work. The Leave journey is explored through seven steps, which prepare the employee for the specifics of starting the programme, exiting work, preparing for the baby, thinking ahead to returning to work, becoming a parent, preparing to return to work and thriving as a working parent.
Different organisations and employees have varying needs and budgets. To accommodate these variations, our three different levels of support are:
ESSENTIAL LEVEL – features unlimited access to the seven steps in our Family Care Leave online Individuals are provided with a unique access code that allows the employee to work through the programme on an individual basis. We provide prompts along the way at important milestones on their journey. Issues addressed include mental health, isolation, childcare options, positive well-being, developing confidence as a parent, where to turn for support and additional resources, planning for a return to work, effective communication and long-term professional goals.
STANDARD LEVEL – this includes all of the features and resources of the Essential Level plus an additional level of personalised support. A CM Talent Coach provides three personal coaching sessions, or the organisation may elect to offer regular in-house live webinars if there are significant numbers of participants. Coaching takes place using video-conferencing facilities.
PREMIUM LEVEL – this is a customised Family Care Leave programme that is ideally suited for senior employees or employees who may be at risk during their leave. This level provides six individual coaching session and follow up services. We also provide e-books and resources to support the contact and coaching services from our CM Talent coach.
CM Talent’s Family Care Leave services are ideal for first-time parents or those going through a second or subsequent new arrival. It is suitable for solo parents, same-sex couples, or individuals or couples adopting a child. Designed to be diverse, inclusive, and practical, employees recognise the ongoing support from their employer through the provision of our support.
How employers benefit from CM Talent’s Family Care Leave support
The benefits to employers by offering our Family Care Leave support range from developing more diverse and inclusive workplaces to creating a workplace culture that respects and cares about parenthood. These factors contribute to a humanistic and caring workplace reputation as well as contributing to reducing gender pay gaps and increasing diversity within leadership roles in the organisation.
In addition, employees and employers benefit from:
- A fully researched and developed support programme that encompasses all parents
- Specific support, information and resources at key life stages
- Smoother transitions from work and back to work after leave
- Line manager and employee communications enhanced before, during and post leave
- Effective use of Keeping in Touch days to enhance employee transition back to work
- Retaining key employees for succession planning and leadership development
- Increasing your reputation as a family-friendly organisation to attract qualified candidates
- Developing employee loyalty and understanding of the organisation’s core values and principles
- Access for employees to highly effective and highly rated support
- Employees returning to work with confidence, appreciation for work/life balance and clear professional goals.
To learn more about the CM Talent Family Care Leave support services can enhance your family-related provision, send us an online message or call Nishi on 07912 944 945.