Many new parents find it difficult returning to work after having a child, it can be an emotional rollercoaster having to adapt to the massive change of lifestyle that comes with parenting. Most employee’s will be exhausted in the office due to lack of sleep, this can affect their motivation. It’s important you show support and help ease your employee back into working life.
First things first, make sure that your policy for maternity leave is clearly stated in your company policy and that new hires and current staff are all aware of this. This should include points such as the amount of notice given before leave so that you have enough time to make arrangements during their absence and the amount of time they can have for maternity leave.
When an employee tells you she is pregnant, go through your company’s maternity policy again to make everything clear, state that there will be contact kept throughout their time off as this will keep them in the loop and makes their return easier.
Even though they will be kept up to date throughout their leave, it’s important to organise a review programme for their return. This will help you check that they understand the current projects, that they are aware of any new company changes and gives them the opportunity to ask questions and voice their feelings and ideas.
Arrange a work event to welcome your employee back to the team, this allows the opportunity to catch-up and meet any new team members. This will help them settle back in faster, especially if they have lost contact while off. The speedier the settling in process, then the higher the rate of productivity.
Any new working mothers may be finding it stressful trying to balance their work and home life, so remember to be diligent and flexible. Offer working from home and time off for appointments, this will be appreciated by the employee returning from maternity, but your support will also be noticed by the rest of your workforce. This will increase your team’s loyalty levels as they will recognise your efforts.