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  • Writer's pictureNatalie Moloney

Parental Leave Transition Program: Supporting Working Parents and Building Stronger Organisations

Parenthood is a significant milestone in life that brings joy, fulfillment, and new responsibilities & challenges. It became evident to me as a Career Practitioner and parent, that there was an incredible opportunity to design and deliver a Parental Leave Transition Program that provides really meaningful support to career returners, to help them with what can be a very daunting transition in their life and work. Programs of this nature offer numerous benefits that empower working parents, enhance their professional growth and wellbeing, and foster a positive work culture.

How does a Parental Leave Transition Program support working parents?

A Parental Leave Transition Program offers a customised roadmap to help parents prepare for their leave, and for a successful return to work. A skilled Career Practitioner can offer invaluable guidance, helping working parents navigate the challenges of balancing family responsibilities with professional goals. From managing expectations to building confidence, a parental leave transition program can equip parents with the necessary tools and strategies for a smooth transition.

The key areas I support employees with during a program include:

· What to consider and plan for when preparing for parental leave

· Returning to work – understanding your unique story

· Maintaining balanced work and life roles

· Managing a successful transition back to work

· Managing changes at home

· Selfcare and maintaining a positive self-image.

The Australian Blueprint for Career Development was also utilised in the development of the content framework for the program, to include key competencies identified as significant to parents returning to work. These were based on understanding common challenges, issues and concerns that can be encountered after a career break.

So, what are some of the benefits for an organisation?

Employee Retention and Engagement

A well-designed Parental Leave Transition Program promotes employee retention by providing a supportive environment for new parents. Returning to work after having a child can be emotionally and logistically demanding. By offering tailored coaching and resources, and promoting a family-friendly work culture, employers can significantly ease the transition and demonstrate commitment to supporting their employees' to thrive. This, in turn, can boost employee engagement and loyalty, reducing turnover rates and the associated costs of recruitment and training.

Enhanced Employee Wellbeing

The well-being of employees directly impacts their productivity and overall job satisfaction. Parental Leave Transition Programs provide valuable resources and support systems that prioritise the physical and mental wellbeing of working parents. Offering access to tailored coaching can help employees manage the stresses associated with parenting while excelling in their professional roles. By investing in employee wellbeing, organisations cultivate a positive work environment and foster a sense of trust and loyalty among their workforce.

Increased Productivity and Performance

When employees are provided with the necessary support and tools to manage their personal and professional lives, their productivity and performance naturally improve. Parental Leave Transition Programs ensure that employees can balance their parental responsibilities with their work commitments effectively. This, in turn, enhances productivity, boosts morale, and maintains a high level of performance among employees.

Positive Employer Branding and Reputation

Companies that prioritise their employees' needs during the parental leave transition gain a competitive edge in the job market. A strong Parental Leave Transition Program serves as a testament to an organisation's commitment to work-life balance, gender equality, and employee wellbeing. This positive employer branding not only attracts top talent but also strengthens the company's reputation among customers and the broader community. A reputation for being supportive and family-friendly can have long-lasting benefits as being recognised as an employer of choice.

As organisations strive to create inclusive workplaces, supporting working parents through a Parental Leave Transition Program is such meaningful support. By offering a personalised approach to the challenges of preparing for, and returning to work after parental leave, these programs empower parents, enhance work-life integration, develop skills, address parenting challenges, and foster employee retention and engagement.

The benefits of such programs extend beyond individual employees, positively impacting the organisation as a whole. Investing in a Parental Leave Transition Program is a powerful way to demonstrate commitment to working parents, creating a culture that supports both professional success and personal fulfillment.

If you would like to learn more about At the Helm Career Services Parental Leave Transition Program, please get in touch today!


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