Let’s Talk ABout Pregnancy And Your Business!
Every so often, as a business owner, you will be faced with the situation of pregnancy and your business! Yes, it is all a part of life and one part that not many businesses pay attention to until it happens first-hand.
All businesses should have some infrastructure in place to deal with pregnancy in the workplace before and after, as this contributed article will discuss. Let’s take a look.
How You Can Reduce Workplace Stress For Pregnant Employees
The working world is a grueling one and it’s sometimes so fast paced that people don’t know whether they should interrupt that flow with personal life decisions. The thing is, life gets in the way of work sometimes and if you’re lucky, you get to prepare for it.
When you bring on members of staff to your organization – especially young women – you should prepare your company for an element of disruption later on. The main reason for this is that women often want to have a family; as is their right.
Unfortunately, being pregnant in the workplace can be stressful for expectant mothers, especially if they are working in an industry such as healthcare. Having to take a step back and do less work can be as frustrating for the expectant mother as it can be for you as an employer, but it’s something that instead of fighting, you should prepare for.
Most women are too frightened to confide in their workplace about their pregnancy. It’s not because they don’t trust you (not to be happy for them), but because of the fear that their news could jeopardize their position in the company. It’s quite an unfortunate fact that women feel this way, especially when they’re involved in high energy roles like nursing.
The best thing that you can do as a business leader is to step up for those in your employ that become pregnant while working for you. This is everything we will cover in this article, from helping your staff to find maternity scrubs that are comfortable and accommodating, to allowing flexibility.
If you can show the female staff in your employ that you are the type of manager who supports pregnant employees and mothers, then you will have a loyal workforce who want to stick with you. To make this easier for you, we’ve got some great ideas for how you can make life less stressful for those who have a family while working with you:
Pregnancy comes with a myriad of appointments, check-ups, and tests and you should be accommodating for shift changes and timings as you possibly can. You could also go that extra mile by allowing pregnant staff and parents – fathers included – the ability to work from home if necessary.
Obviously, this is a little more challenging in a healthcare setting, but you can easily give your staff as much flexibility to take on lighter duties as possible. If you are meeting their medical needs as well as the needs of a new family, you will always be seen as favored in your company.
Offer Good Benefits
You can’t just have a hidden policy on work benefits in your company that is buried under a mountain of dust. You need to display the benefits for parents, expectant mothers and the benefits for fathers loudly and proudly.
Add the benefits to your staff intranet page, flyers in the bathrooms and even offer newsletters reminding the staff what benefits are available to them when they have a family.
A very tasteful way to make expectant employees and parents feel comfortable is to provide them with literature about the benefits that you offer along with a present to congratulate them on their new addition. Yes, making pregnancy and your business a familiar discussion in the workplace means an easy transition for all!
Earlier on, I mentioned the fact that a lot of expectant mothers feel fear instead of excitement when it comes to telling their employer that they are expecting a child. People should never have to feel this way, and so it’s important that you are an approachable leader.
You want people to be able to come up to your door and tell you their news, and you need to be able to feel genuinely happy for them. It’s not always easy to fill a maternity position or cover their shifts if they need time off, but the whole idea of being an inclusive employer is to be one that will worry about this stuff – not your employee.
It’s a good idea for you as a company to offer parent support groups and counseling if necessary. Working full time and raising a family while running a house isn’t easy, and if you aren’t offering some support to take the load off, then you may find that your staff is far more stressed out than they need to be.
Mothers who return to work are often faced with a dilemma about breastfeeding. Those that choose to will need to pump during the day, so you need to be flexible and offer time for your staff to go and pump milk in a comfortable and light room specifically for new parents. If you are the type of employer that will offer comfort and space to meet the needs of their child, you will be one that is recommended to others in the industry.
When a member of your staff leaves to have a baby, it makes sense for you to establish a good plan of action for their leave, and also for their transition back to work. This could mean fewer shifts on their part or the switch from nights to day shifts to lighten the load of having a new baby to juggle.
You should ensure that they are covered with new staff with plenty of time for training before they go on leave, and you shouldn’t put any pressure on them about coming back. Offering more than the national minimum for maternity leave is also a reassuring benefit for your staff.
Going above and beyond for the people who are the reason that you have a stable and successful business is not unreasonable. It is up to you and your managers to decide whether you value your employees, and if you do, you should ensure that you treat them that way.
Employees are people with goals and dreams, and sometimes those goals take them away from their careers. This is okay – it’s just a matter of being accommodating and realizing that you have the power to make them as comfortable as possible.
Yes, let’s talk about pregnancy and your business before the real need arises, at least you will be prepared to make all the necessary changes for everyone and have a smooth transition.
Images courtesy of Pixabay and Pexels.
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