All, Miscellaneous, Human Resource
As HR professionals, we get a lot of questions from the male team members on the non-existent father friendly policies which brings up the question that a lot is being spoken & written about women’s role as a parent however what is under-played many-a-times is the role of men as parents which holds an equal importance in the growth of a child. Though companies have started taking steps in that direction but are those steps sufficient?
Let’s look at some ideas which can help corporates in coming up with policies which can ease out the lives of men too.
First and foremost is to give men an opportunity to support their wives through their pregnancy and also post the birth of the child. This could be done through the option of paternity leave which many corporates have started practising now-a-days. This is the stepping stone to any balanced work environment.
Single men who want to adopt and single fathers should be supported with a separate adoption/child-care leave policy. The corporates can provide additional support during and after the adoption process to help them sail through the transition.
Career-Life workshop should be held on a regular basis to encourage men to speak about their roles as fathers and also how they are creating the work-life balance for themselves. Career-life workshops can be extremely helpful as a means for men to understand, articulate and work through the work-family challenges they face. Creating a group of men will increase the level of conversation along with the acceptance of the dual roles for today’s working fathers.
Corporates can arrange for counselling sessions for the fathers to help them in creating a balance between work & personal life and to reinforce their role in their child’s life, which they might deviate from due to the pressure at work. The sessions can cover areas like how to take advantage of work/family balance policies, having a complete clarity of roles and responsibilities at work as well as at home, establishing guidelines of work for evenings, weekends or on vacations and explaining them the importance of making career decisions as a family and not as an individual.
Encourage female & male employees to plan and save for their children by introducing a child-saving fund which can automatically be deducted from their salary.
There should be privileges for both mothers as well as fathers that include flexible working hours, working from home, part time working, office day care, and taking a sabbatical if required. Organizations need to pay heed to the fact that fathers play an equally vital role in a child’s progression as mothers which should reflect in the culture & work practices at work.
The idea is not only to introduce these policies/processes but to encourage the fathers at workplace to follow them as well. This will help the corporates in keeping them motivated & also in retaining the talent by giving them adequate work-life balance.