Ways to Welcome New Moms back to your Workplace

· by Julie Blackmon

Julie is one of our Career Transition Coaches in our Outplacement group. She brings over 10 years of recruiting experience to her role. Julie has been with HTI since 2011.
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Everyone knows how hard it can be to attract the right kind of employee to your company. And, once they are integrated and trained, you want to be able to hang on to them. So what happens when you have young female workers that start to have children and you are concerned about retaining them?

Everyone has heard about Netflix’s leave policy, or companies with on-site childcare or crazy benefits for new parents. But what if you aren’t a Google or a Netflix with seemingly unlimited resources? What if your company simply doesn’t have the ability to provide those types of benefits? Are you doomed to lose all your young female talent? NO! In fact, there are a few simple things that will go a long way in helping to welcome back and retain these valuable employees.

  • Flexibility – Obviously every employer is different with the amount of flexibility they can offer a new mom. Some companies might be able to work out slightly different shifts, some work from home options, part time work, or maybe just a general understanding that sometimes, a new mom is going to be a few minutes late after cleaning up a spit up situation as she was walking out the door.
  • Communication – Before, during and after maternity leave, communication is key. Having a clear plan of who will handle work while your employee is on maternity leave will set her at ease before she goes out. As a new mom returns to work, it is important to consider communicating changes in processes that occurred when she was gone. Sometimes it can be hard to jump back into the workforce full force after 3 months away and realize things kept on going without you! It’s also key to have a solid plan of transitioning work back to your employee. Perhaps a few days shadowing/catching up, and then a gradual plan of when to take back specific responsibilities would be easiest both for the employee coming back to work, but also for any co-workers who have been helping cover her responsibilities.
  • Options for pumping – Maybe this is TMI for a work related blog, but breastfeeding is hard! And after weeks and months of working on it, a lot of breastfeeding moms returning to work want to be able to keep doing it. So, not only is a safe, clean place for your new moms to pump required by law, it’s a great way to show you care. A comfortable chair and table are a must, and stocking the room with some magazines, some tissues, and a blanket in case it’s cold is a small way to support your employee during this time.
  • Acknowledgement – Honestly, one of the simplest (and cheapest!) options you have is simply acknowledging that your employee is back, that this transition is hard, and that you care about them. I’ll never forget the first full day I was back at my office, my CEO came into my cube, looked me in the eye, and said “We are so glad you are back. You are important.” It sounds so simple, but after 3 months in the motherhood bubble where most everyone is consumed with this new life you have brought into the world, to have someone acknowledge YOU and what you mean to the company is huge. Coming back to work or deciding to stay at home with your children is an intensely personal decision. As a caring employer, you can help new moms transition smoothly back into your workplace with a little grace and a whole lot of love