Unfortunately, babies, while a joy, can also be seen as an inconvenience. But people are going to have babies and companies should embrace it and use it to their advantage.
Many employers want to offer the shortest amount of parental leave as possible, as they’re essentially reserving someone’s position without that person doing any work and companies like productivity. But this tactic may not be the best one when it comes to recruiting and retaining employees.
Now, back to that advantage thing.
The chances of people one-day having kids (or more kids, if they’re already parents) are pretty high. There is this myth that you can’t have it all—you can’t be a good parent and succeed in your career. But you can do both, it just requires some help from an employer. Providing longer parental leave, or leave for both parents, is attractive to applicants. It will make your company stand out. Babies are inevitable, and accepting that and accommodating for that will work wonders for your recruitment.
Expanding parental leave can also help with your retention, believe it or not. Pressuring people to rush back to work is not the way to keep them. It is not uncommon that new parents decide to leave their job rather than go back before they are ready. Adjusting to a new baby is hard, and parents need as much time as they can get. By expanding parental leave, parents no longer have to feel the pressure to return to work as quickly as possible. By not feeling pressured, parents are encouraged to stay on with your company.
Finally, expanding parental leave treats parents as if they are, well, people. Human beings often need to focus on their families and themselves to be happy and healthy. Keeping your employees happy and healthy improves productivity, retention, and the workplace environment. When people appreciate your policy, they appreciate their job, making them more motivated to do well.
People want to be valued. Expanding parental leave shows parents, soon-to-be-parents, and your average adult that you care about them and their families. It demonstrates your flexibility and willingness to help. And people will want to be with a company that cares.