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Enticing Women Back After Maternity Leave

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 4:26pm | by Nancy Parker

Training new employees costs companies billions of dollars every year. To help keep training costs down, managers are turning to innovate new strategies designed to bring women back to the workplace after childbirth.

Here are some of the most creative ways companies have reached out to new moms. 

1. Temporary salary increases. The Insurance Australia Group offers new moms double pay for the six weeks they return to the office. The CEO of the group, Mike Wilkins, says the move makes sense both for his employees and the bottom line, due to the money saved by not having to recruit and train replacement workers.

2. On-site childcare. New mothers are often reluctant to spend eight to ten hours away from their newborns. Smart companies like SAS Institute, often ranked one of the best places to work in the country, offer on-site daycare so mothers can check in with their children throughout the day. SAS even encourages employees to eat lunch with their little ones. Smart decisions like this have led to SAS having one of the lowest turnover rates in its industry.

3. Work from home. Highly skilled female workers can do some of their work from home. To keep women at the company, many businesses let new moms adopt more flexible schedules. Top employees don’t need to be on the premises from 8-5 every day, and employee retention is much higher at businesses that offer adjustable schedules. 

4. Maternity coaching. Pregnancy is a big step for every woman, even if she’s had a child before. Firms have found that investing in maternity coaches, who can offer women advice on both professional and personal issues related to pregnancy, greatly increase retention. A good pregnancy coach can reduce a mother’s stress and anxiety about returning to work after birth, making it much more likely that new moms will come back to work. Hiring a coach may seem expensive at first, but managers are buying employee loyalty and avoiding the high costs of finding and training new employees. 

5. Management training. When executives make a decision to improve female retention, managers need to know. Company philosophy towards pregnant employees and company programs should be discussed with all levels of management to ensure a consistent message to employees. There’s no point to developing high-quality retention programs if employees never find out about them due to managerial ignorance.

While some of these suggestions may seem radical, they are being used by successful businesses throughout the global market. Working women are a valuable resource, and working to retain them can reap profits for years to come. 

Nancy Parker was a professional nanny and she loves to write about wide range of subjects like health, Parenting, Child Care, Babysitting, nanny, etc. You can reach her @ nancy.parker015 @

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