As a business owner, you could be losing out on solid female talent if your company is hostile to employees who are also parents. Even though the law states that you can’t discriminate against women who choose to become mothers, you may be inadvertently cultivating a workplace environment where women don’t feel comfortable divulging their family plan.
Here’s how to make babies welcome in your company’s family while maintaining the integrity of your business goals….
If your company is successful, you have understood the need to keep up with the latest tools and technology you need to beat out your competitors.
It’s likely that your employees have had to get on board with company changes a multitude of times during their employment. It’s your turn to embrace the changes that your employees bring to the company.
Employees are not stagnant two-dimensional assets.
They are constantly changing and growing as individuals, and the more you embrace the changes that they experience in their personal lives, the more loyalty they’ll have toward you and your company.
Develop a Plan
Soon-to-be mothers have a natural tendency to worry whether their jobs will still be there for them when they return from maternity leave. You, too, may worry that a new mother may not want to come back to work after experiencing motherhood. It’s a valid concern, as you may have invested considerable time and money into making the employee one of your best. This can cause a silent tension between you, in the build up to her maternity leave.
Help to ease her fears and your worries by developing a plan for her workload after the official maternity leave is over.
Your plan may include one or more of the following:
- Work from home option
- Transition into part-time
- Insurance coverage adjustments
The best way to implement a plan like these is to sit down with the expectant mother and your HR manager. Develop a company policy that will cover future employees who may become pregnant. As the following article shows, your company’s health insurance and pregnancy policies should work together to cover every possible outcome.
Don’t Dismiss Without Regard
If you are interviewing candidates for an open position, and one strong candidate is obviously expecting, don’t dismiss without regard for her potential. Remember that even pregnant women need to work. You can’t assume the worst about any future situation. It’s possible that the woman has a strong family support system.
For example, she may have an agreement with her husband that she will work after the baby is born while he stays home to take care of the childcare. Whatever her situation is, don’t jump to conclusions. If you have a solid candidate for the job, her pregnancy shouldn’t factor into your decision, as long as the work is not too strenuous for an expectant mother.
Take the lead in your industry in being accepting of your employees’ family situations. Show other owners and managers that with a little creativity and acceptance, young mothers and corporate goals can work hand in hand.
About the Author: Kate Supino is a professional freelance writer who specializes in best business practices.