Each minute of our life is a lesson but most of us fail to read it. I thought I would just add my daily lessons & the lessons that I learned by seeing the people around here. So it may be useful for you and as memories for me.
Returning from maternity or parental leave can be an incredibly stressful time for your employee, so you need to help make the transition as easy as possible for them. They have probably got a lot of mixed emotions about coming back, and it is likely that this will be the first time they have been away from their child for any extended period of time.
While they might be excited about returning to work, they will probably also be a little nervous. A lot of things can change in a business over six-months to a year, and this article aims to provides some tips to help with their return.
Prioritising new parents in your workplace is a form of equity. Any organisation that commits to that value should dedicate resources to bringing parents up to speed when rejoining the workforce.
Most companies fall somewhere in between, but there are a variety of things you can do in addition to your policy to make new and even experienced mothers feel comfortable and welcome them back after their maternity leave or leave of absence
Returning to work after a lengthy absence on maternity leave can be a daunting experience, so the employer should take steps to ensure that the employee’s reintroduction is as smooth as possible. Every Employer has to ensure an employee’s smooth reintroduction to the workplace after maternity leave.
Now the big question is, How can we achieve that smooth reintroduction. ? How can employers manage employees returning from maternity leave to make sure they feel fully welcomed back to work ?
Here are some suggestions to support an employee returning from maternity leave.
- Remember that maintaining contact with an employee on maternity leave can help them to stay in touch with the workplace and ease their return to work.
- Check that you have notified the employee of the date that their maternity leave will end and consider sending them a courtesy letter to remind them of their expected date of return from maternity leave.
- Send out a Welcome back letter and do onboarding and take feedback after a week.
- Make sure that the employee’s workstation is ready for their return from maternity leave and that they have the materials necessary to do their job.
- Make the time for a coffee with your returning employees, preferably OUT of the office. Maybe invite the broader team to say hello. Allow them to share their experiences as new parents and ask them to show you baby photos!
- Encourage mental well-being and Allow flexible working options.
- Bear in mind that returning to work after a long period of absence on maternity leave can be a daunting experience for an employee.
- AVOID inviting your returning employees to large meetings for the first two weeks until they’ve had a chance to settle back in. During that time they would have gained more context and could confidently attend and actively participate.
- Consider what changes need to be made to the employee’s workload if they are returning to work from maternity leave on reduced hours and what arrangements need to be made if they are going to be working with a jobshare partner.
- Arrange meetings to update the employee and discuss any training needs or necessary support for them to get back up to speed with the job. Ensure that an employee who has returned to work from maternity leave is not treated less favourably because they have been out of the workplace for some time.
- Carry out a risk assessment if an employee has returned to work from maternity leave within six months of the birth or is still breastfeeding.
- Provide suitable facilities for a breastfeeding employee to rest, and remember that it is good practice to provide a clean, private room, access to a fridge and time off to express milk.
- Ensuring that the logistics are in place for the employee to begin work on their return, for example that their workstation is ready and that they have the appropriate systems access and passwords.
Showing empathy and understanding during this difficult time will make a big impact. If the pandemic taught us anything, I believe it was to find compassion for each other’s full lives — at work or at home, which are now not as separated as they once were.
If you are a manager and have read so far- kudos to you. All that’s left now is to put the wheels in motion and change the statistics
If you are a parent who’s reading this and are finding it relatable- share this around. You too can change the statistics.
If you want your business to be more human, you have to invest in your humans.
Please feel free to share your story and any lessons you learned, experienced, you came across in your life in the comments below. If you enjoyed this or any other posts, I’d be honored if you’d share them with your family, friends, and followers!
If you wish to follow my journey outside of my writing, you can find me on LinkedIn and Facebook