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6 Lessons on How to Retain and Engage Working Parents

6 Lessons on How to Retain and Engage Working Parents

We analyzed employee survey data for our Best Workplaces for Parents™ list, representing over 5 million US workers. Working parents are having a great experience at companies that topped this list.

We looked at employee comments and how these companies are designing policies that help parents thrive at work. Parental leave and workplace flexibility are just the beginning

1. Being a parent is not a moment in time

The parenting experience is not limited to those first months as a new mom or dad. The Best Workplaces know this and support their employees over a long journey.

Working parents’ needs are taken seriously over the course of their professional career at Hilton. Aside from industry-leadingparental leave, employees can also get adoption assistance and family travel benefits. Staff and their families can hit the hay at Hilton Hotels up to 30 nights a year for only $35-$65 a night.   

2. Parents of all backgrounds are supported

At the Best Workplaces for Parents, every parent can balance caregiving with work. It doesn’t matter if you are a female executive, a part-time employee, or a new dad, your experience as a working parent is equal.

3. Policies reflect the voice of their people

The Best Workplaces for Parents listen to their staff and use their perspective to inform policies. They are self-aware through employee feedback.

Companies can take a leaf out of construction company, Power Home Remodeling’s book. The numbers from their employee survey revealed room for improvement when it came to recruiting, engaging, and developing women. So, a meeting between executives and a frontline employee led to their Women’s Initiative and Women’s Leadership Summit.

In its third year, the Women’s Initiative has spurred policy changes that support women, especially mothers. Executives created a new parental leave policy, a designated nursing space, and replaced heavy sales equipment to better suit women and expecting moms.

4. Gender-neutral parental leave policies   

New dads should be able to bond with their children, too. Companies like Cisco give employees paid time away based on their caregiver role, not on their gender role. The Best Workplaces are also doing a better job of lifting the stigma of paternity leave. 

When we compared the paternity leave policies at Best Workplaces to other organizations, we found two things. First, the median number of days offered to fathers was the same (60 days). However, when it came to the median number of days taken, the figure at Best Workplaces was almost double (28 versus 15).  

Leaders at the Best Workplaces are more successfully creating an environment where men feel comfortable taking paternity leave. 

5. Looking to innovate? Support parents’ work-life balance 

We found that the Best Workplaces for Parents have twice as many people ready to innovate compared to other organizations.  And it's not only parents who are flourishing at these workplaces. Employees without childcare responsibilities are more prepared to innovate at these companies, too. 

6. Companies offer “special and unique benefits”

An important differentiator of a great workplace for parents is how tailored and unique benefits are. The data revealed that a workplace is 71% more likely to be a Best Workplace if employees say they have “special and unique benefits.” That doesn’t mean expensive or flashy; it means explicitly tailoring to employee’s unique workplace needs.

Does your workplace support working moms and dads? Do you cater not only to employees’ professional needs but also their human needs? Nominate your workplace today and get recognized for your great workplace culture.  


Claire Hastwell