When parents take time away from work for childcare, it can be difficult to re-enter the workforce. This is especially true for mothers, who are often expected to spend more hours in childcare. As mothers adjust to balancing childcare with work, stress can skyrocket. This is why organizations need to provide mothers with resources to cope. Learn how your company can provide mothers re-entering the workforce with the support they need!
How Does Organizational Support Impact Mothers Re-Entering the Workforce?
Organizational support is providing employees with the resources they need to tackle work and life challenges. When workplaces are unsupportive, they fail to recognize employees or take their needs into account. Imagine your boss wants you to become a senior leader, but you don’t have time to take on the additional responsibility. If your boss promotes you without ever asking about your goals, you might feel unsupported. Similarly, when organizations fail to listen to employees or ask questions about what they need, they may feel they lack support.
On the flip side, when employers demonstrate support, they show appreciation toward employees and listen to what they have to say. They ask questions about what employees value and provide tools and resources to get them to their goals. Mothers re-entering the workforce may especially need support. They need to know that they are still valued. They also need to know that the organization cares about their ability to balance work and life successfully. Otherwise, mothers may feel unsure about whether or not they are going to be able to re-incorporate work into their lives.
How Does Mothers’ Organizational Support Impact Families?
New research shows that mothers re-entering the workforce who feel they have organizational support experience less stress at home. This is likely because they know they have resources to tap into to make their work-life balance better if needed. In turn, lower stress makes it less likely that they will experience family-work conflict. Family-work conflict occurs when people perceive that their work life is being interrupted by their family life. When mothers re-entering the workforce have organizational support, they are less stressed at home, and don’t feel their family interferes with their work as much.
Interestingly, this same research shows that mothers’ re-entering the workforce aren’t the only ones positively impacted by their organization’s support. When mothers have appropriate support at work, their partners are also less stressed at home. In turn, their partners also experience less family-work conflict. Another positive benefit is that their partner is less likely to lash out at others at work or to behave poorly on the job. So, providing this support helps the whole family!
What Can Organizations Do to Provide Mothers Re-Entering the Workforce with Support?
Mothers experience challenges in returning to work, research shows. If mothers are breastfeeding or had pregnancy complications, this is particularly true. Working mothers may also find it challenging to find a new identity as a working parent. But, if workplaces aren’t thoughtful about these challenges, these issues will be even more exacerbated. There are ways to overcome this, however.
Workplaces might ask mothers about their goals for work and family as they re-enter the workforce. Similarly, organizations can provide mothers re-entering the workforce with more flexibility in scheduling. Supervisors might check in on their well-being from time to time as well. We have talked about the importance of being helpful, without being patronizing, to pregnant women before. The same applies here. Being caring, compassionate, and accommodating makes a difference. By doing so, whole families can become less stressed and conflicted!