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How to deliver a positive employee experience for mums and dads

Published by: LifeWorks,

Just a few decades ago, it was uncommon for both parents to work full-time. But that’s not the case today, as evidenced by the rise of dual-income households.

Over the last 40 years in the UK, the proportion of couples with children where only one adult works has almost halved (down from 47 percent in 1975 to 27 percent in 2015). And according to an Institute for Fiscal Studies report, the proportion where both parents work has increased from 49 percent to 68 percent.

But both mums and dads have it rough when it comes to managing their work and their children. Each parent experiences their own pain points, and it’s hurting employee well-being.

In order to deliver a more positive employee experience, you need to first understand the obstacles mums and dads face:

Working fathers


One of the most pressing issues for working fathers is the stigma they face as they embrace their dual role as father and employee.

The State of America’s Fathers report from MenCare calls this ‘daddy stigma’ — fathers either fear or personally experience forms of discrimination when they attempt to balance child care responsibilities with their work life.

Whether it’s taking their daughter to school later in the morning or leaving on time to see their son’s baseball game, they feel a sense of guilt or shame. Or, worse, their colleagues or leaders make comments about them trying to find balance.

The Pew Research Center also found that more working dads say they don’t spend enough time with kids than working mums.

What’s more, according to a 2016 survey from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), a whopping 46 percent of men experience work/family conflict regularly.

How to Be Supportive

If working parents are constantly worried about choosing between career and personal life obligations, their well-being will surely suffer. But you can build a more supportive culture that improves the working dad’s employee experience.

Take a look at how the most dad-friendly companies accomplish this:


Employees receive the autonomy they need to manage their own tasks and schedules.

The company also provides amazing benefits, including unlimited vacation time and Uber credits. This approach empowers working dads to create their own schedules and take charge of their productivity.


The U.S. remains the only developed nation in the world to not guarantee paid parental leave.

Fortunately, companies like Facebook are stepping in. They provide new parents four months of paid paternity leave as well as $4,000. This cash helps parents manage their financial wellness as they care for their newborns.


This organization also provides four months of paid leave. They encourage their working parents to take their time off whenever they want during the whole year after their child’s birth.

Plus, new dads enjoy a fifth ‘transition’ month. They receive full pay during this time while working a reduced schedule.

Working mothers


‘Mummy guilt’ is a real condition that plagues many working mothers. According to a 2014 survey by NUK, a UK-based babycare product company, nearly nine in 10 moms feel guilty at some point in relation to parenting. Also, 21 percent say they feel guilty most or all of the time.

This guilt stems from several areas, whether from someone critiquing their parenting style or from missing their children’s events.

Many feel forced to decide between their career and their children. The 2015 Pew Research Center study found that six in 10 working mums say it’s difficult to balance these duals roles at their job and with their family.

They’re also more likely than working dads to say parenting interferes with career advancement. What’s more, four in 10  full-time working moms say they always feel rushed and don’t spend enough time with their children.

How to Be Supportive 

The most important goal for improving employee well-being for parents is making them feel understood. Starting a support group is a great way to give them a voice and a community within your organisation.

You can also support working mums by following the lead of these companies:


IBM’s benefits are endless. From 14 weeks of maternity leave to lactation rooms in the office and breast milk shipping services, their working mothers have it made.

Employees also enjoy daycare subsidies and training to help them understand how to balance their work with their personal life.

McKinsey & Co.

Work-life balance is a priority for all their employees. They have the option to take 10 weeks off between projects, which is a great perk for busy mums.


This organisation also provides breast milk shipping for new moms, as well as subsidies and on-site facilities for child care.

You can’t afford to ignore employee well-being, especially if your parent staff members are on the verge of burning out. Focus on delivering the best employee experience for mums and dads alike.

Learn more about starting a support group for working parents to give them a voice and a community within your organisation.



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