Childcare Issues Are HR Issues: Supporting Working Parents and Caregivers
Author: Jim Davis
Without a doubt, working parents took the center stage in an extraordinary way during the COVID-19 pandemic. This group of employees already faced many challenges, including the complexities of shifting work, school and childcare schedules, the availability of reliable and affordable childcare during working hours, and the need for flexibility at work. Employers that didn't adapt faced turnover and stressed employees. However, those organizations that adapted shouldn't get too comfortable. Many of the solutions they created were stop-gap measures that aren't sustainable long-term. Now is the time for organizations to evaluate and remodel their current strategies, processes, procedures and programs for supporting working parents into the far future. HR professionals are key to creating and implementing those structures.
As the bridge between employees and employers, HR is in the ideal position to help their organizations assess and address the needs of their working parents. In fact, long before the pandemic, HR had been championing people issues that support working parents, such as parental leave and flexible schedules. As business leaders attempt to roll out initiatives to better support families in an effort to improve employees' job satisfaction, productivity and retention, they will need to lean on their people-oriented HR professionals to succeed.