Maternity leave, flexibility, temporary contracts, finding replacements - these are just a few of the things that tend to spring to the mind of a mana
Maternity leave, flexibility, temporary contracts, finding replacements – these are just a few of the things that tend to spring to the mind of a manager when considering taking on a working mother as a new employee. While official measures have been taken over the years to make the workplace more inclusive and accommodating of the needs of working parents, there are still many hurdles faced by parents that those in the workplace do little to alleviate. But what are the benefits of actively employing working parents?
We wanted to know some of the key factors to consider when employing working parents so we caught up with Charlotte Baldwin, Operations Manager at IQ Cards.
IQ Cards are a fundraising company that provide schools and establishments with the necessary tools to fundraise via selling high-quality and unique gifts designed by pupils. Several of the IQ cards team are mothers and PTA members themselves appreciating and understanding school protocols extremely well. They are also the preferred supplier for PTA UK. Here are Charlotte’s top pointers on hiring working parents.
The ability of parents to commit to their work is often called into question, but in realistic terms, they have more incentive to be loyal to their jobs than many non-parents, as they have dependents to worry about. They know that if they were to lose their jobs, their houses, possessions and financial stability could be at stake, as well as the comfort and wellbeing of their children. Parents inevitably have more formal commitments than non-parents, and so have all the more reason to be a reliable and hardworking employee.
Capacity for Multitasking
Parenthood in itself is a constant juggling act, and many parents become quite proficient in getting several things done at once. So in the face of suppositions that parents will be preoccupied with their own issues in the workplace, the opposite is true, and they are likely to be better-versed in multitasking and handling multiple situations simultaneously than those who do not have children.
Employees who are not parents often adopt the preference for instant gratification in tangible terms, such as bonuses, promotions and treat days. However, parents have extensions on their own lives – their children – who are more important, and so take far less motivation to get into work and get their jobs done well. With people to support financially and emotionally, just having a job that uses their skills and allows them to support their children makes working parents better bets when it comes to getting into the work frame of mind. They require little materialistic motivation from their managers to get them into gear.
Of course, this isn’t to say that working parents don’t enjoy being rewarded for their hard work, but it is likely that their focus on such rewards will be more family-oriented. So if an incentive scheme is in place that hands out designer shopping vouchers or pick of the work meal out to high achievers, consider throwing some rewards into the mix that parents will feel are more worthwhile achieving. Half days, paid leave, financial bonuses or even holiday vouchers may be received as better-fitting rewards for working parents, and something they feel particularly proud about earning.
The outdated attitudes surrounding the employment of working parents – particularly mothers – is not only unjustified but often detrimental, and as we have seen here, there are plenty of characteristics that make working parents more dedicated and harder working employees than those who do not have children. Managers should be opening their minds to these possibilities and considering them more carefully during their next spell of recruitment.