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Lack of Parental Leave Increases Turnover Comments Off on Lack of Parental Leave Increases Turnover

family-492891_640Many companies cite costs as the major roadblock to offering better parental leave benefits for their employees. However, multiple studies have proven that companies that offer good parental leave policies and flexible work options for parents have higher employee retention and engagement, and experience lower rates of absenteeism and increased productivity.

Unfortunately, despite this data many companies have still been slow to adopt this more flexible way of working and because of this, experience increased rates of turnover across their business as workers are forced to make a choice between their work and family life.

True Cost of Turnover
It costs approximately 20 percent of an employee’s salary to replace them according to research from the Center for American Progress, which also shows that much employee churn could be avoided if businesses would adopt more flexible work hours and institute parental leave policies. "Workplace policies that improve employee retention can help companies reduce their turnover costs. Family-friendly policies such as paid family leave and workplace flexibility help retain valuable employees who need help balancing work and family. For example, research has found that access to any form of parental leave makes men more likely to return to work after giving birth,” according to Heather Boushey, a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress.

Companies that fail to adopt these types of policies often experience higher turnover rates than those which offer them, as it forces workers to make a choice between their work and family life. In most cases, employees will inevitably choose their family life and opt to leave companies that refuse to accommodate the caring responsibilities of their employees.

Maintaining Productivity
In addition to costs, many businesses express great concern over offering flexible work hours and additional parental leave policies. Companies are unsure as to how to fairly distribute the work when employees are absent for an extended period of time. However, what many businesses discover is when employees are granted the leave they need for their families, they often stay connected and engaged and continue to assist the company even if they don't happen to be on site.

More Than Parental Leave Needed
While offering more than the standard twelve week leave as mandated by the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 is a great start, it is not the only policy change needed in order to increase employee retention. Other programs such as flexible work hours and work from home initiatives must also be considered as the lines between work and family have become increasingly blurred. Offering these types of policies dramatically increase employee loyalty and gives employees the incentive to work harder and, in many cases, longer than they might normally work without these policies.

As we move further into the 21st century, the demands of both employers and employees are changing and for companies to remain successful, they will have to adapt to the evolving needs of their workers. The idea of the traditional work day with full separation between work and home life is slowly disappearing and in its place is a new philosophy or working from anywhere at any time. Companies that embrace these changes and included added benefits of flexible schedules and better parental leave will continue to grow and prosper, as they can attract the best talent while other businesses might struggle to remain competitive if they stick to using the traditional employment model.