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.