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3 Essential Strategies for Supporting Working Parents and Caretakers

In today’s multi-generational workforce, a significant portion of employees are also dedicated and committed parents and caretakers. Recognizing and accommodating their needs isn’t just a matter of corporate responsibility—it’s a strategy for attracting and retaining top talent. Here are three impactful ways organizations can bolster their support for working parents and caretakers.

1. Embrace Flexibility

  • Flexibility is not synonymous with remote work. It’s about acknowledging the multifaceted lives of employees.
  • Take a human-centered approach by acknowledging that employees will experience grief, sickness, unexpected delays, and have interests outside of work. Providing flexibility in any capacity shows your employees that you care about them as humans, whether they are parents or not.
  • Creating boundaries and expectations around flexibility provides more autonomy to employees because they have a clear understanding of what flexible work means within the organization. They then have more autonomy to determine when and how to use their PTO or request unpaid time without the worry that they are not meeting expectations.
  • Foster cross-training within the organization to ensure seamless coverage of responsibilities. Employees should feel comfortable taking time off and delegating their tasks while they are away.

2. Respect Personal Boundaries

  • Prioritize work-life balance. Avoid encroaching on personal time by scheduling meetings or tasks during the evenings or what the employee has designated as personal time.
  • We’ve all heard about or had first-hand experience with the nightly work calls or the emails on Saturday morning stating “I need this by Monday” and faced the resentment of our work. Recognize that fulfilling family commitments contributes to employees’ overall happiness and productivity at work.
  • Foster a culture where employees feel valued and supported in balancing work and personal obligations. As an employer, you can create a culture reputation that can lead to high retention and a passive pipeline of candidates lining up at the door to work for your organization if you can cultivate fulfillment within your employees.

3. Provide Family-Friendly Benefits

  • In its 2024 Future of Benefits Report, care.com shared the following statistics: “1 in 5 employees have left a job because their employer didn’t provide family care benefits”; “56% of employers are prioritizing childcare benefits in 2024”; “50% of employers are prioritizing senior care benefits in 2024.” Employers are starting to understand that employees are whole people and that what happens outside of work affects what happens at work.
  • Offer benefits such as dependent care FSAs, childcare stipends, and comprehensive insurance coverage as part of a holistic approach to supporting employees.
  • Investing in family-friendly benefits gives organizations a strategic advantage that again can increase retention rates and attract top talent.

By prioritizing flexibility, respecting personal boundaries, and implementing family-friendly benefits, organizations can create a more inclusive and supportive environment for working parents and caretakers. These measures not only enhance employee satisfaction and retention but also position companies as employers of choice in today’s competitive landscape. Embracing these strategies isn’t just a gesture of goodwill—it’s a savvy business move with far-reaching benefits.

Need help adjusting your HR policies or culture to support your employees? Reach out to Purple Ink here.

Anna Rasco
Anna Rasco
Anna is a Senior Talent Advisor at Purple Ink. She’s skilled at helping recruiting clients with their talent acquisition strategies and placing the right people in the right roles. She’s passionate about serving the underserved, and she leverages her insider knowledge as a recruiter to help her career coaching clients find the right career fit.

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