If you’re struggling to implement a comprehensive and cost-effective parental leave policy, you’re not alone.

In a recent webinar, Comprehensive & Cost-Effective Parental Leave Strategies That Work, I was joined by innovative people leaders Kim Rohrer, Principal People Partner at Oyster, David Monica, Head of Total Rewards at Phathom Pharmaceuticals, and Leslie Forde, CEO & Founder at Mom’s Hierarchy of Needs, LLC. During our discussion about creating paid parental leave strategies in our current economic climate, we shared insights and tactics for creating a successful parental leave policy employees love.

Here are some key takeaways:

Institute creative LOA policies:

  • Not all paths to parenthood look the same, so applying a one-size-fits-all parental leave policy may not work for every employee.
  • According to Kim Rohrer, “Aside from compliance, one of the most challenging aspects of creating a LOA policy is getting people to utilize the policy the way you intend. A best practice for ensuring policy adherence is to get managers on board and to support employees through their leave. Encourage employees to take time off and act as an advocate for others to do the same. Lead by example and take your leave to set a precedent for others to follow.”

Increase retention with return-to-work programs:

  • Consider options to help employees and their partners spread out their leave time (whether individual days or grouping time) to help with the transition back to work.
  • Treat your employees returning to work similarly to how you may treat a new hire. Re-entering the workforce requires an attentive approach that goes beyond the first few days back and may even span months.

Design a complete parental program at low cost:

  • Continue to re-evaluate your employees’ needs. What worked a year ago in a parental leave policy may be very different than what works now. A few low-cost ways to adjust might include:
    • Parents can often be strapped for time, so it’s important to be very clear about deadlines and priorities. Ensuring that parents have a very clear focus, are able to remove distractions, and feel a strong support system will help them be most productive.
    • Encourage a culture where it’s okay to be a parent. This can include creating channels for parents to connect and share their experiences and challenges. Having a support system at work can make a huge difference in how you manage your parenting responsibilities and your productivity at work.
    • Don’t be afraid to pilot an idea. Gathering feedback and slowly building on policies helps employees feel heard and know you’re open to evolving.

Watch the full webinar recording here or check out the webinar presentation slides for quick highlights and more key takeaways.

For information on Sequoia’s Wellbeing offerings and to see how we can help you develop a comprehensive, paid parental leave policy, visit https://www.sequoia.com/services/wellbeing/

Kaleana Quibell — VP, Wellbeing and Platform Partners at Sequoia. Kaleana Quibell has consulted hundreds of top tech companies on their total rewards strategies by way of evaluating and partnering with the industry’s most innovative products and people. With a background in recruiting and onboarding, benefits and human resources, and employee wellbeing program design — as well as being one of EBA’s 2017 Most Influential Women in Benefit Advising — Kaleana understands the significance of a comprehensive total rewards strategy on employee satisfaction, engagement, and morale.