An upcoming birth is an occasion of much anticipation and celebration. It’s one of those happy, life-changing events that nevertheless carry its own unique set of challenges and responsibilities. There are so many changes and things to plan for, it can be overwhelming.
The expectant mom’s employer can also help make the transition easier. We’ll explore some ways that a considerate and awesome boss can do his or her part to add extra happiness to the big event, while maybe taking away some of the stress, specifically in the context of the actual pregnancy leave.
Make Sure She Knows Her Options and Her Rights
Even though there’s quite a bit of excited anticipation for the birth of the baby, sometimes there’s enough mindshare left over for the mother to be to wonder what sort of leave options she has available. You as the boss could save her a lot of time, energy, and stress by making sure she’s fully informed of her leave options, rights, and benefits. It’s a load off her shoulders to have that aspect squared away.
Let Her Know How Her Absence Will Be Covered
Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you get that employee who’s dedicated and conscientious above and beyond the call of duty. If your future parent is one of those people, then first of all, you’re very fortunate. But in addition to that, keep her informed as to how her job and workload will be covered in her absence. If you’ve already tapped someone as a temporary replacement, perhaps having both parties meet and talk will allay concerns. She could also brief her interim counterpart personally, giving the individual some tips and advice. That is, if such an option is feasible, and that depends a lot on the progress of the pregnancy. As the article “5 Important Delivery Day Decisions” says, these kinds of decisions vary according to each situation.
Remember That Work Isn’t Everything
Yeah, in certain quarters that’s tantamount to blasphemy, but pause and consider this. Employees need to know that they are valued as people and not just as cogs in a machine. In fact, it’s those employees who are treated as people and not as game pieces on a board that end up having better morale, more loyalty to the boss and the business, and show a better attitude and work habits. Feel free to be excited for her and to be enthusiastic. In other words, be open to the idea of sometimes being less of an authority figure and more of a friend or at least an interested acquaintance. Odds are, that returning employee will tackle their job with more dedication and enthusiasm.
Be Patient, Be Flexible
Although a lot of expectant moms have a timetable for when they want to come back to work, sometimes the newborn has other ideas. And remember that for every new mom out there who seems to want to stay joined at the hip to their newborn, there’s most like two or three who are in fact dying to get back to work and a sense of normalcy. This is especially true with the second, third, or however many more pregnancies. After that first one, the novelty begins to wear off. She may not be able to return right away, or may have to do part time or work from home for a bit. See to it that there’s an option for doing reduced hours for a while, or if your IT department has the means of setting up someone temporarily in a home office arrangement, do that.
Striking a good balance between being a caring boss and someone who wants to make sure that work gets done is a tricky one, but it can be done. The net result will be a grateful happy returning employee and a business that still runs smoothly during her absence.