The Importance of Peer-to-Peer Parent Support Groups at Work
Far too often I speak to working parents who feel alone in their journey. It goes without saying that every working parent could use a lot more support. Most working parents are taxed on time and don’t have the luxury of baby classes or play groups. Yet, it is usually within the social confines of these prearranged play spaces where parents find one of the most necessary elements of parenthood: a supportive friend.
50% of employees aged 26-35 have voluntarily left a job due to caregiving responsibilities.
Becoming a parent is the ultimate hazing experience! And, it’s the friends we make during those early years of parenting that keep us sane. For working parents, however, finding those ever so important friends can be difficult and the lack of support and professed loneliness contribute greatly to off-ramping by working parents who can afford to do so.
Amongst employees aged 26-35 who left jobs due to caregiving responsibilities, 61% were senior leaders.
Working parents are looking for, and need, more camaraderie in the trenches. This presents employers with an incentive and an opportunity to showcase their concern for their employees’ wellbeing, while protecting one of their most valued assets: their workforce.
Something so easy that employers can do is sponsor a monthly lunch. Throw in some baby pictures and tales of sleepless nights, and your employees will be bonding like war heroes. Include or don’t include a monthly speaker. Some months, maybe it’s just a place to grab free lunch. Other months, maybe it’s a place to make long-lasting relationships. Either way, it is positive PR for the company and shows employees that you care.
By providing new parents with an outlet to share their experiences and develop an at-work support system, employers can reap the rewards of loyalty and dedication, while improving retention rates amongst new parents.
Having friends at work matters. Sometimes a work friend can be the most important “perk” to a job. I was speaking with one employee recently who has been at her company for 10 years. She has never received a raise and works for a very demanding boss. But she LOVES her co-workers. And for that reason, she will not leave. Her co-workers are her second family. It’s a perk that cannot be underestimated.
Afterall, a happy employee is a more productive employee.
For assistance with the facilitation of peer-to-peer working parent support groups and other working parent support matters, please contact MommaWork at firstname.lastname@example.org.
– Debi Yadegari is a working mother of five, attorney, speaker, lactation law specialist, breastfeeding expert, and the CEO and Founder of MommaWork. She is an advocate for working parents and providing the tools they need to achieve personal and professional success.