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  • Writer's pictureAmanda Hemm

Experts Weigh In: New Parent Retention & Engagement

Providing support to employees who are experiencing major transitions - such as the birth, adoption, or fostering of a child - has been shown to increase employee engagement and retention. But you don't have to take my word for it. The articles and research below come from a variety of industry leaders that have been focused on the same topic: How can we better support new and working parents

Practice is more than Policy: Engage & Retain New parents

Family Friendly Policies are on the rise but there is a difference between companies that create policies and companies that actually use the policy as a catalyst for culture change. The companies that create practices and follow through and are rewarded with increased retention & employee loyalty.

Nearly nine out of 10 parents at the Best Workplaces for Parents say their company has “special and unique benefits,” and when that’s true, they’re 65% more likely to stay with their employer.

A staggering 91% of parents at these companies want to work at their companies for a long time. That’s a far cry from the 55% of parents at a typical U.S. workplace who are open to changing jobs by the end of this year, according to a July Great Place To Work survey of nearly 4,200 workers. -

Conversely, a lack of support and guidance from management during this time frame - even when there is adequate paid leave - can leave parents feeling underappreciated, overworked, and less satisfied at work.

Research from the Boston College Center for Work & Family, New Dad Research Series; Expanded Paid Parental Leave - Study Findings

Engage the Dads!

More and more companies are including fathers and non-birthing partners in their parental leave policies. It is becoming a best practice to use paternity leave and support for new dads as a key selling point for talent and acquisition.

“Companies are stepping up their efforts to provide the benefit as they find that leave for fathers increases retention and engagement of men, and contributes to women’s advancement by encouraging shared home responsibilities.” -

Not only does engaging all parents look good and feel good for employees, but it is also a cost saving measure:

Our research suggests that companies with higher participation in programs designed to support working parents have higher employee retention and job satisfaction, both factors that balance out the cost of offering fatherhood benefits.”

And it supports DEI goals of closing the gender gaps:

“The good news is that employers should experience a double benefit from supporting fathers in the workplace: In addition to attracting and retaining talented fathers, they also create opportunities for mothers. As working fatherhood becomes normalized, women are less often penalized for the ways they seek flexible work arrangements to handle childbirth and child care. Because of this, firms with strong policies and cultures supporting working parents should see their gender pay gaps lessen.”

Retain your MVPs

Expecting and new parents aren’t a problem to solve. They are your top producers, key talent, and full of institutional knowledge. They are MVPs within your organization and the risk of losing them to parenthood is great without support.

“As more people delay having children, their childbearing and child-rearing years increasingly overlap with their prime working years. This has implications for employers seeking to attract and retain the talent they need. … Employers seeking employees with specific skills and experience are likely to have an even greater challenge replacing those who leave.

Turnover in general is costly. Turnover among an organization's most important contributors is even more so.”

If you have read this far, it is clear that retaining, engaging and supporting moms and dads in your workplace is important to you. Let me know in the comments or via email how your organization is tackling this vital issue. What successes and challenges do you have? What opportunities are there to turn parental leave into a moment of stronger connection and loyalty?

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