Capacity, clinic hours, patient demands and budget are all factors that impact your hospital’s ability to provide support to parents. However, the most impactful work/life solutions are ones every organization can implement.
We’re here to break down the basics of a Parental Support Program, including why you should adopt one and how to begin implementing yours today.
Why should I adopt a Parental Support Program?
A Parental Support Program helps hospital Team Members navigate every stage of working parenthood successfully by providing solutions to balance the competing demands of their job and home. It allows for parents to bond with their children, improving the well-being of both parents and little ones. And, in most cases it also offers security both financially and professionally. Providing solutions to these stressors will help your Team Members feel supported, keeping them more focused and engaged in the moment and over the long term.
At CareVet, our “why” connects back to our Whole Person Approach, our commitment to better supporting each Team Member’s personal and professional needs. Investing in the whole person means investing in our Team Members’ families. And investing in families means implementing a comprehensive approach to parenting and work, taking into account both parents (not just mothers and maternity leave) as well as every stage and type of parenting, from birth, adoption through adolescence.
How can I begin implementing a Parental Support Program?
Make it Accessible to All
As outlined above, being a parent is not limited to a mother giving birth, and a child is not limited to a newborn. Providing parental leave for all parents regardless of gender, both ensures there is no gender discrimination but more importantly allows all Team Members to prioritize their families during this special time.
Take Advantage of Your Resources
Veterinarians work hard for their patients, often neglecting to take time for themselves. Updating your Paid Time Off (PTO) policy to include a deadline will encourage your Team Members to use their personal days, including using it as an opportunity to spend time with family.
If you don’t already, consider offering counseling and support for parents through an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Make those resources readily available for those that may not feel comfortable asking.
Be an Example
Seeing programs and policies utilized firsthand by Hospital Managers, Practice Owners, Medical Directors and peers will be much more effective in motivating Team Members to do the same. Be open about your experience balancing job and family, take advantage of initiatives and empower working parents to take the time they need to attend to their family.
Take It to the Next Level
Flexible work schedules can help keep working parents more engaged and productive. When possible, collaborate with your Team Members on creative solutions that work with their family schedule.
Offering paid leave for the parent to bond with their child as well as well as adjusting to new caregiving responsibilities allows parents to take leave without having to face financial hardship.
Reduce the stress and anxiety that comes with working parenthood by offering childcare support through subsidized childcare arrangements or financial benefits including Dependent Care FSAs.
Financial assistance in the adoption of a child not only provides critical support for families forms through adoption, it creates equity amongst all parents. If you are unable to provide financial support, sharing simple education activities around adoption creates awareness and a culture of inclusion in your hospital.
Learn more about how CareVet is leading the pack with The Ultimate CarePackage, our suite of DVM benefits, including paid parental leave, childcare, adoption assistance, work/life balance initiatives and much more!