I recently read how Johnson & Johnson and Vodafone, a large communications company, are both putting some pretty amazing policies in place to make it easier for new moms to transition back into the work place. Vodafone is not only are they giving their employees 16 weeks of paid maternity leave, but they are also letting them work 30 hours at full pay for the first six months back. Johnson & Johnson is now giving their employees up to 17 paid weeks of maternity leave, and dads receive a minimum of nine weeks of paternity leave. This piqued my curiosity in how companies are making going back to work easier for new moms (and dads).
In my research I found companies of all sizes are putting very progressive policies in place for working parents. Clockwork, a small interactive agency in Minneapolis, has a “Babies At Work” program where employees are allowed to bring their babies under six months old to work with them. Care.com recently created a list of the companies that are going that extra mile, and providing a noteworthy number of paid weeks off (Ernst & Young is at the top of the list with 39 weeks!).
More and more companies are really starting to get it. As President Obama said during his 2014 State of the Union Address, “when women succeed, America succeeds.” It made me think about other ways companies could help their employees succeed during the stressful time when they first return to work after having a baby.
One of the big issues in getting back for a working new mom is just being exhausted! Many are still getting up with their babies in the middle of the night, and then have to get up and go to work a long day. I thought it would be phenomenal if companies provided their employees with sleep training from a certified child sleep consultant as a standard part of their maternity benefits package.
This may seem like a small thing, but having a baby that sleeps through the night really could make a huge difference to a new mom who wants (or needs) to return to work, but is still mentally and physically exhausted. It would be a win-win for both the new mom, or dad, and the company. Just to name a few of the benefits:
- Less stressful return to work after having a baby
- Increased employee retention
- Higher morale
- Attraction of new employees
- Increased productivity
I am truly passionate about working with new moms, and it brings me joy when I can give them the gift of sleep so they can enjoy motherhood a little bit more. I applaud these companies that value their employee’s role as a parent, and are making huge strides in helping them succeed as both an employee and a parent.