Yes, You Can Stop New Parents from Quitting. Here’s How

by Evil HR Lady on February 7, 2018

A new baby is the best thing ever, and not just for the parents. You probably throw baby showers for all expectant employees, and send them out on parental leave with giant gift baskets and well wishes for what’s to come. Everything is seemingly perfect when they step out that office door.

And then, that new mom (or dad, but mostly mom) quits her job.

One year after giving birth, about a third of women haven’t returned to the workforce. This is not necessarily a bad thing, unless that person feels forced into stay-at-home motherhood. However, if someone wants to be working but leaves their job because of the increased responsibilities and stress—plus the high cost of daycare—well, that’s not a good thing.

So what can you do to make your business more attractive to new parents? Here are five ideas.

To keep reading, click here: Yes, You Can Stop New Parents from Quitting. Here’s How

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Mr Cynical February 7, 2018 at 3:03 pm

Exhibit #1 on the issue of “why do women earn less on average?”

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grannybunny February 7, 2018 at 4:33 pm

Even when you correct for the fact that childcare responsibility fall disparately on women, there is still a substantial pay discrepancy.

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Kathy February 8, 2018 at 12:14 am

Women without children are often paid less than men. But that’s not the point. It simply makes sense to provide some inexpensive birth related assistance so that the company does not lose trained experienced employees to family-related turnover, since replacing such employees costs so much. With many men choosing to get more actively involved in rearing their children than men used to do, this isn’t just a women’s issue.

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jdgalt February 8, 2018 at 3:19 am

That’s only one of several reasons. Women on average choose less hazardous and less dirty, jobs, shorter hours, and lower rates of long-term staying with one employer, as well as more time off to have families. Correct for all those factors and the “gender pay gap” actually goes the other way. In fact it should be called the “gender choices gap.”

Trying to make employers “correct” for this gap, either by paying women the same as men for less (or less valuable) work or by providing extra benefits that will be used mostly by women, is unfair and amounts to forcing men to subsidize women. Fortunately, the market will self-correct for this — these changes make it more expensive in real terms to hire women, so the employer will hire fewer women. (And if this choice is even conscious, good luck proving it against them.)

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grannybunny February 8, 2018 at 7:44 pm

You are incorrect on the facts.

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grannybunny February 7, 2018 at 4:34 pm

6. Consider offering telework — not just to new parents — to the extent possible.

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Maude February 7, 2018 at 5:02 pm

I appreciate that I have the option to work from home sometimes, and think it is a great benefit. However, I disagree that it is helpful to new parents. They still need childcare if they are working from home. I have children and I cannot effectively care for them and work to the standard that is expected of me. Frankly, other employees in my organization that try to care for children, or other responsibilities while “working” from home are the reason that this benefits has been scaled back.

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Dorothy February 7, 2018 at 9:34 pm

Yes, it’s important that employers set the expectation that work time is work time. When my employer started allowing telecommuting back in the 90s they encouraged parents to have childcare plans.

Also, I like Suzanne’s point to make the workplace good — and fair — for everyone. It damages morale to always favor ANY class of employees including parents. The notion that parents should always get school holidays off or the good shifts. Is not the way to make non-parent employees happy.

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Observer February 8, 2018 at 2:44 am

Telework is not so much about working with the baby in your lap. But, things like – less commute time means less childcare time. Less commute is just easier on Mom or dad (who are probably getting less that their normal allotment of sleep). Also, working from home makes it MUCH easier to nurse.

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charles February 8, 2018 at 3:26 am

Thank you for Number 5! Too often single folks or those not on the “let’s show how progressive we are by giving them extra benefits” list end up with the extra work.

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Crusty Old HR Manager February 8, 2018 at 7:29 pm

We instituted an Infant at Work program. Babies are welcome to participate until they are six months of age. We’ve had five “graduate” the program so far with no adverse impact to the business. But more importantly, we have retained five really great employees!

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Evil HR Lady February 8, 2018 at 7:46 pm

How does that work? i really like other people’s babies because I don’t have to change their diapers or feed them at 2:00 am.

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Crusty Old HR Manager February 9, 2018 at 10:48 pm

Mom or Dad brings baby to work with them for the duration of their shift. We have a nursing room onsite and various vacant offices where fussy babies can be soothed if necessary. The program is available to all staff regardless whether their job is customer-facing or not. We have emergency plans in place (we occupy a multi-story building) and emergency babysitters and baby-picker-uppers should anything happen to Mom or Dad while baby is onsite.

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