Outside of their day jobs, parents also have the full-time responsibility of raising their family, which can be difficult to balance when managing an already hectic workload. Offering specialized incentives and benefits geared towards the parents on your team who do it all can be an excellent way of improving employee retention while promoting a healthy work-life balance.
Ten successful founders from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) share which benefits they've found to be most appealing to employees who are also parents -- or plan to become parents sometime in the future.
The most important "perk" we offer is flexibility. We don't maintain a central office; all of our employees telecommute. As a result, they are able to independently manage their own work and schedules. It may not be fancy, but remote working enables us to hire top performers -- both parents and those who aren't -- who relish the flexibility and independence we offer them.--David Ehrenberg, Early Growth Financial Services
2. A family-welcoming environment.
We make it a point to open every company event, outing, lunch and get-together to families and loved ones. We want our employees to be open and feel comfortable bringing their families into their work environment, and it also helps us get to know each other even better as a team. This kind of open-door policy towards family also brings about flexibility in the lives of those that may have young children or other varying family situations. If need be, employees can leave the office as well as bring kids in, and that kind of acceptance and openness helps us all better live our lives -- and fosters a happy, healthy company culture.--Miles Jennings, Recruiter.com
3. Real maternity and paternity leave.
Many small startups don't have explicit maternity/paternity leave policies. Unsurprisingly, having a child is a major life event, and showing your employees that you support them through the experience -- by giving them weeks or months off -- conveys that your relationship with them is for the long term. They will be grateful for the opportunity to happily bond with their child -- and more energized and ready to return when they do come back to work.--AJ Shankar, Everlaw, Inc.
4. A "family comes first" policy.
As a single mother, I know that flexibility is the key to my business success, so I allow that same benefit for all of my staff members and volunteers. Family always comes first, and my team knows that. For example, my chief of staff has been known to bring his 3-year-old son to some important meetings. I know how much that means to him, and I also know it's setting a great example for his son.--Mina Chang, Linking the World
5. "Take Your Kid to Work" Day.
We've had flexible hours, unlimited PTO and flexible locations since Influence & Co. started, but this year we are excited to host our first ever Take Your Kid to Work Day! We realized that being flexible is wonderful and extremely important to parents, but actively involving families in your company culture is something that can make a huge impact, and we're excited to do more of this as our team continues to grow and grow their families.--Kelsey Meyer, Influence & Co.
6. Family-friendly discounts.
In my past life working in a corporate environment, I used to receive discount tickets to movies, amusement parks and coupons for dinners at a local family-friendly restaurant. They were shared as a family and it turned into a family outing tradition that my kids looked forward to. I became the hero mom when I would present it to them. It was a small gesture and a minimal investment on my company's part, but it definitely held its weight in gold to us parents. The gift perks were desired by many and became highly anticipated when offered biweekly. I have to say that it certainly became a happy topic of discussion in the office.--Souny West, CHiC Capital
7. Don't forget benefits for would-be parents, too.
ZappRx offers four specific team benefits that support current working moms and dads, but also accommodates non-parent team members that may become parents in the future. The goal is to retain top talent and encourage parents (particularly moms) to stay at ZappRx. We have a flexible work-from-home policy, unlimited vacation, flexible office hours and most importantly, we reimburse childcare. Our hope is that as the company grows and we become revenue positive, we will ultimately offer in-house childcare, much like some of the well-known tech giants offer currently. -Zoe Barry, ZappRx
8. Team-building events during work hours.
At Trulioo, we believe quality time with the family is very important. For that reason, we make our best effort to host team-building activities and events during work hours so that our team can spend more time with loved ones after hours.--Stephen Ufford, Trulioo
9. Part-time options for high-level work.
Since we're a remote company and we're bootstrapped, we don't always need higher level positions at a full 40-hour workweek level. This means that our moms and dads on the team can still consult and work with us, but if they need more time with their kids, we're happy to accommodate a 35- or even 20-hour workweek. They've got flexibility to care for the kids and even start projects of their own, and we have the benefit of a more diverse team with a rich variety of perspectives.--Dave Nevogt, Hubstaff.com
10. Free meals.
We provide breakfast, lunch and dinner to everyone. I've found that most parents get to the office starving because they forgot to eat after being busy with dropping their children off at school. Many of them are also trying to save money, and this helps them out in that respect too.--John Rampton, Due