For the latest thinking,
commentary and analysis to
support you and your organisation.

For the latest thinking,
commentary and analysis to
support you and your organisation.

9 Needs of Leave

We are on a mission to keep people feeling confident, connected and cared for when they take extended leave from work. This includes men as well as women, and reasons beyond maternity such as sickness, sabbatical and shared parental leave. Our Comeback Community™ employee experience is designed to help people navigate real and perceived barriers to returning to work and onward progression; boost confidence and fuel professional impact when they’re back at work. We want to minimise brain drain and maximise talent. 9 NEEDS OF LEAVE FRAMEWORK Our content is designed around our 9 Needs of Leave framework which support three positive states: feeling confident, feeling connected and feeling cared for. To feel a sense of BELONGING To feel UNDERSTOOD To feel a sense of PURPOSE To feel EQUIPPED To feel SECURE To feel ACCOMMODATED To feel COMPETENT To feel VALUED To feel SUCCESSFUL ORGANISATIONAL BENEFITS & RISKS MANAGED When employees feel confident, connected and cared for throughout their leave of absence: Increased retention[i] Higher engagement[ii] Performance boosted Narrowed gender pay gap Employer brand enhanced MATERNITY LEAVE, CAREER PROGRESSION & NARROWING THE GENDER PAY GAP Women who are on, or returned from maternity leave in the last couple of years, are a key priority for many of our clients, because: Women and men experience a ‘large divergence’ in their career paths in the years following childbirth, according to a study[i] following more than 3,500 new parents. Only 27.8 percent of women are in full-time work or self-employed three years after… Read More »

NEW Report: TAKE CARE (of colleagues on maternity and furlough)

We asked 100 people about their experience of being away from work on maternity leave, furlough and other types of extended absence from work, during the pandemic. Download our short report. Nine needs of leave We frame our work and solutions around what we call ‘the nine needs of leave’ and we asked questions relating to these. The nine needs of leave are: To feel a sense of BELONGING To feel UNDERSTOOD To feel I have PURPOSE To feel EQUIPPED To feel SECURE To feel ACCOMMODATED To feel COMPETENT To feel VALUED To feel SUCCESSFUL Together these nine needs, when satisfied, lead to employees feeling confident, connected and cared for. 40% don’t feel a sense of BELONGING We were saddened that 40% of the people who asked didn’t feel a sense of belonging whilst they were away. Of those 100 people only 14 had something positive to say in response to the question, “what’s the most caring thing someone from your organisation has done for you whilst you’ve been away?” Top 3 Worries 1.Feeling behind and out of the loop 2.Balancing the demands of work and home 3.Re-establishing myself in the team Helpful resources What resources had our respondents drawn upon to get them ready for work again? Comeback Community – our new employee experience for team members taking leave and their line managers. Find out more. TED Talks 1:1 Coaching Following experts on social media Mothers Work! How to Get a Grip on Guilt and Make a Smooth Return… Read More »

Could your colleagues use an awe walk?

“I’m worried about a maternity returner and the younger members of the team who aren’t getting exposed to the informal chat around the office. You just can’t develop the same links with people and get those bits of knowledge that help you do your job when you’re working from home 100% of the time. It’s not so bad for those of us who are established in the organisation and our particular role. In fact working from home has been really good in many respects.” If that sounds familiar, read on. Colleagues most in need of connection There’s no doubt that whilst we’re leading remotely we need to be proactive at helping others pick up the information they’d otherwise absorb by office osmosis. One way of doing this is to invite colleagues who are particularly at risk of missing out to have short agenda-free catch-up chats (15-20 minutes) with you. New members of the team (who’d been in role < 12 months before March 2020) Members of the team for whom this is only their first or second role People living alone Colleagues returning from maternity, shared parental leave, adoption, sickness or any other type of long leave. Go woodland walking with colleagues – remotely or in-person We’ve been recommending woodland walk and talk with colleagues who live within a distance you’re prepared to travel, or remotely. By remotely we mean both walking in woodland close to your respective homes and talking on the phone with headphones – because holding a… Read More »

Increasing your impact and making the most of your time

Returning to work probably requires you to find a different pace and a sharper focus compared to how you’ve spent your time whilst away. In this article from Comeback Community™ (our platform for people preparing for/returning from any type of extended leave) we’re sharing seven superbly simple tools to make an impact with the time you have. If you’re coming back on reduced hours, or no longer have the inability to ‘stay late’ and play catch up on things not completed during the normal work day you might be wondering how you’ll deliver all you did before. The answer? Don’t even try to! This is an opportunity to start afresh, consider the impact you want to have and make a plan to get there. SEVEN SIMPLE TOOLS: Rocks, pebbles, sand If you only worked one day a week Stop, start, continue Biggest task first Five minute start Time boxing Scheduling self-time 1. Rocks, pebbles, sand Author of the excellent book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” Stephen Covey, talks about figuring out which things in your life are the ‘rocks’ – the big, important things – that you’ll be miffed if you don’t make happen. His analogy is a vase (your life) to be filled with rocks, pebbles and sand (the stuff that fills your time). If you put the sand in the vase first, followed by the pebbles (the smaller, less important stuff) there won’t be so much time for the rocks. Put the rocks in first, followed by the… Read More »

Many happy returns? What Chief People Officers are thinking now

Sometimes it can feel lonely at the top and it’s good to know what your peers are thinking and doing, especially when there’s no playbook. Our NEW report Many Happy Returns? presents the five main themes that emerged from our conversations with Chief People Officers and HR Head Honchos over the summer. ** RECEIVE YOUR COPY NOW – simply add your name and e-mail address to the box at the bottom ** The HR professionals we spoke to about the challenges of remote working and the return to the office spanned many different sectors: accountancy, advertising, asset management, event management, insurance, law, manufacturing and market research. “We’ve done a lot of work with linemanagers reminding them to contractwith their teams on how they’re goingto work with their people. Somemanagers have done a really good jobof contracting with clients too. Somepeople have contracted that there arecertain times when they won’t accepta Zoom call.” Chief People Officer, advertising The five themes: THE NEW ‘MIXED ECONOMY’ – maintaining equality of opportunity for employees regardless of where they work.  STRUCTURE AND CERTAINTY – acknowledging the need for security employees are craving, and that’s difficult for HR to provide.  KEEPING UP APPEARANCES – helping employees feel comfortable with remote working.  THE FUTURE OF FLEX – continuing to modernise attitudes around flex and capitalising on the gains made during lockdown.  ALL TOGETHER NOW – healing the hurt of furlough and rekindling team connectedness to move forward with purpose.

The single best thing you can do for mothers in your organisation right now

What accounts for the HUGE difference in wellbeing, engagement and effectiveness of working mothers in your organization? How much flexibility they have over their schedule. Simple. McKinsey analysed the experience of 887 different workers over the pandemic and found some interesting and alarming differences (for instance, it’s better to be a remote working father than any kind of worker without kids). Nearly 60% of mothers who have flexibility around how they organise and achieve their professional goals report positive wellbeing compared to just 19% of women who don’t have this autonomy.  Even more staggering is the gulf between their self-reports of effectiveness. 61% of those with schedule flexibility said they were being effective compared to just 15% of those without. That’s an astonishing 75% drop. The takeout for employers is this: be crystal clear on your organisation’s mission and how each individual is expected to contribute to it then trust employees to get on and do. Be clear on delivery dates and other important expectations but don’t tell workers when and how to do things. Their work for you sits within a bigger, more complicated and exhausting picture and right now most parents need a bl**dy big break from EVERYTHING. The least you can do is allow them the freedom to flex within the parameters you set.

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