Long before we purchased the first Babygro, I was out “shopping” for a new job. As we started planning a family, I started looking for an employer that would provide a workplace culture where parents could thrive. Not only was the work important, but my ability to fit it in around my family responsibilities influenced my decision of where to work. Being able to take care of my baby as a working mom was possibly the most important thing to me.
However, despite all my carefully made plans, when I returned to work as a new parent I felt alone, overwhelmed, and missing direction. The reality of juggling work and raising a family was very different from what I had expected. I was the only young parent in my team, and I didn’t know what a balanced working parent looked like. Having someone to learn from, and someone to listen to me and to tell me I was doing OK would have made all the difference for me and my family. It would also have changed how I showed up at work. Because not only was I struggling, but my employer was missing out on my full potential.
Many young parents, like me, find themselves taking a step backwards or even a step out of the workplace after starting a family. While this can be challenging for employers, it also provides them with a fantastic opportunity to improve employee engagement and retention, should they wish to embrace it.
We see that peer coaching between working parents can increase employee wellbeing by up to 45%*. In this article, I will delve into the reasons why peer coaching for working parents creates opportunities for exchange and connection and explore how this ultimately helps companies retain their valuable talent.
1. Fostering a Sense of Community and Belonging:
Working parents often face unique challenges and can benefit greatly from a supportive network of peers who understand what this means. Peer coaching provides a platform for working parents to connect with one another, share insights, and exchange experiences. This sense of community fosters a supportive environment where working parents can feel understood, valued, and empowered. As individuals bond over common experiences, they develop a strong sense of belonging, leading to increased job satisfaction and engagement.
2. Knowledge Sharing Boosts Productivity:
Peer coaching allows working parents to tap into a wealth of knowledge and expertise within their organization. By sharing experiences and best practices, parents can gain valuable insights and learn effective strategies for managing work-life integration. Whether it's time management techniques, tips for maintaining work-family balance, or guidance on navigating parental leave policies, peer coaching facilitates the transfer of practical knowledge that can significantly enhance productivity and well-being. As working parents acquire new skills and feel more equipped to handle challenges, their confidence increases. Confident and productive employees are less likely to leave.
3. Emotional Support and Well-being:
Balancing the demands of work and parenting can be emotionally taxing. Peer coaching offers a safe space for working parents to express their concerns, fears, and frustrations without judgment. Being able to share and receive emotional support from peers who can empathize with their experiences can have a transformative impact on well-being. By addressing the emotional needs of working parents, peer coaching helps create a supportive culture within the organization, leading to improved mental health, reduced stress levels, and increased employee loyalty.
4. Networking and Career Development:
Peer coaching programs create opportunities for working parents to expand their professional networks and foster career growth. Through regular interactions, parents can establish connections with colleagues from different departments or levels of the organization. These connections can prove invaluable when seeking mentorship, exploring new career paths, or identifying opportunities for advancement. By facilitating networking and career development, peer coaching programs not only benefit individual employees but also contribute to the overall talent development and succession planning within the company.
A company's ability to retain its talented employees is crucial for long-term success. Peer coaching for working parents plays a vital role in improving employee retention rates. By creating a sense of community, fostering knowledge sharing, providing emotional support, and facilitating networking opportunities, peer coaching enhances job satisfaction, reduces turnover, and strengthens the loyalty of working parents towards their organization. Companies that invest in the well-being and professional development of their working parents demonstrate their commitment to a healthy work-life integration, resulting in a more engaged and dedicated workforce.
As organizations recognize the value of supporting their working parents through peer coaching, they cultivate a culture that prioritizes work-life integration and creates an environment where talented individuals thrive, resulting in a more resilient and successful workforce.
It is often in the most challenging moments that we can have the greatest impact. As parents navigate the juggle of work and the demands of raising a family, will you choose to leave them with a lifelong impression of the kind of employer you are: one that cares about them as individuals? Will you embrace this opportunity to be better than the rest?
To find out more about how you can implement peer coaching in your organization, and how it can support you in your employee engagement and retention goals, please contact us for a free consulting call.
* Based on 104 surveys with parents participating in our parents@work peer coaching programs in 2022/23