A woman works at her laptop with her toddler in her lap.

5 Ways Nonprofits Can Provide a Supportive Workplace for Parents

Being a parent is hard work. Juggling the demands of nonprofit work with family responsibilities can make it difficult for working parents to maintain a healthy work-life balance, which may cause them to leave. 

Creating a supportive workplace for parents can help your organization improve retention and show potential hires that your nonprofit is a great place to work. From introducing parental leave policies to embracing flexible working hours, here are five strategies for fostering a family friendly workplace.

1. Offer paid parental leave

Paid parental leave (also known as maternity leave and paternity leave) is one of the most valuable benefits a nonprofit can offer working parents. The ability to take parental leave allows working parents of all genders to bond with their newborn and adjust to their new routine. That way, when they return to work, they won’t be too exhausted to do their job well, and they’ll appreciate that you gave them that time with their family. 

2. Introduce flexible working hours

Workplace flexibility can help your nonprofit attract and retain both parents and non-parents. For working parents in particular, the ability to adjust their hours or work asynchronously when they need to makes it easier to take care of important family responsibilities like picking up children from school or navigating nap time. Best of all, flexibility costs your organization nothing — and it shows employees you trust them to get their work done. 

3. Give parents part-time work options

Some nonprofit professionals choose to take a career break while raising children. For others, it might feel like the only option. Offering part-time work options can allow working parents to continue growing their career while growing their family. To ensure that critical work isn’t delayed on their days off, consider implementing job sharing, where one full-time job is split between two people so that each employee can work part time. As an added bonus, this strategy will bring a mix of different skills and perspectives to the role. 

4. Create a childcare assistance program

Many working parents struggle with a lack of affordable and accessible childcare options. Childcare assistance programs can help you create a more family friendly workplace at your nonprofit, ensuring that working parents aren’t left scrambling if plans change unexpectedly. If you can’t set aside much for childcare assistance, consider allowing working parents at your organization to bring their children onsite when they need to. Knowing they have this option can put their mind at ease and help them be more present at work. 

5. Encourage remote work 

Not on all nonprofit jobs can be performed remotely, but for those that can, giving employees the option to work from home some or all of the time can be another way to ease the challenge of finding childcare. For working parents who are working remotely with small children in the house, let them know that it’s okay if children interrupt the occasional call or they have to move a meeting unexpectedly because their little one needs their attention. They’ll appreciate and remember your empathy and flexibility. 

Create a family friendly workplace where everyone can grow

Your nonprofit is only as successful as its people. When you introduce policies and measures that give working parents much-needed support, they can thrive as both parents and professionals — encouraging them to stay with your organization. 

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