With more women in the workplace these days, it is almost inevitable that business owners will deal with making sure time is set aside for one or more female employees to take time off to start or continue a family while under their employ.
If you own a small business and have an expectant mother working for the company, you may be concerned about providing a positive environment for her, along with determining how this will impact the other workers who likely may have to pick up some added work for a time.
Since this can be a stressful time, you want to reduce the impact that work has on that stress. This helps the mom stay healthier and improves productivity to make it a win-win situation for both of you and the rest of the team.
It is essential that your employee feels that she can be open with you. There may be days she must take off for doctor appointments or when she is too sick to work. It’s important that she can talk to you about the situation. You may want to brainstorm ways to make things easier for your employee while meeting the requirements of the job.
If possible, you may want to consider allowing her to work from home or have a flexible schedule. If she feels better later in the day, maybe she could change her work schedule from 8-5 to 11-8.
An expectant employee may be concerned about long-term impact from the pregnancy. She may be worried about losing her job or having someone to cover for her if her baby is sick. You have your business to worry about, but by working together, you may find an acceptable solution for both of you. A lot of times the answer comes by thinking outside the box.
Use creative options to reach the desired results. This may include involving other staff members or rearranging workloads. If your employee is not ready to be a parent, she may plan to give up the baby for adoption. This will create a whole new set of issues to deal with.
The article, “5 Important Delivery Day Decisions”, talks about decisions that must be made close to delivery time for women giving up their babies for adoption. However, many thoughts and plans begin early in the pregnancy. One of the biggest issues the expectant employee will have to deal with at work is discussing her pregnancy with co-workers and customers.
As her employer, you can help her with this situation. While she is in the hospital after the delivery or resting at home, you can let her know she can take time to readjust before coming back to work even though she wouldn’t have traditional maternity leave.
An employer can support a pregnant employee by offering counseling services. Many employers offer the benefit to employees, but it can be especially important in this situation. The cost is minor compared to helping your employee deal with a stressful situation so she can maintain productivity and focus.
Business owners and managers often try to maintain an atmosphere of professionalism with their employees and stay out of their personal lives. However, when a woman is expecting a baby, her personal and professional life often becomes intertwined.
A good owner or manager must know how to help her achieve the balance needed for her well-being and the success of the business.
About the Author: Joyce Morse is an author who writes on a variety of topics, including business and healthcare.