Women coming back to work after maternity leave face many challenges such as getting back to a professional mindset after many months away, managing a support system so that their baby is taken care of and juggling responsibilities at office. Brinda Sarkar gets experts to weigh in on how organisations can help returning mothers resume work smoothly post their maternity break.
1 OFFER FLEXIBILITY Companies must offer flexible work options to all women employees returning from maternity breaks. This can vary with the needs of the individual. While work-from-home options may be suitable for one, telecommuting may be suitable for another,” says Prajakta Shrikant Kulkarni, HR head–data centre group, Lenovo India.
2 SMOOTH TRANSITION
“The onus is on companies to help employees returning from maternity leave manage their transition efficiently, depending on their role,” says Rachna Mukherjee, CHRO at Schneider Electric India.
3 REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS
Senior leaders should not expect returning mothers to put in great work from the first day. “Don‘t put too much pressure on them by expecting perfection in everything they do after rejoining post-maternity leave, as most women will gradually pick up more and more work depending on their schedule,” said Kulkarni.
4 HELP STAY INFORMED
It can often be useful for companies to assign a buddy to returning mothers who can help them spend a few minutes each day getting up–to–date with new trends and brushing upon industry knowledge prior to their return.
5 COMPANY SUPPORT
Designated pumping rooms, option to get their baby to work and daycare facilities are some of the ways that senior management can make it easy for returning mothers to settle back, Says Pallavi Jha, MD. Dale Carnegie of India.