Preparing the return to work after parental leave
Thursday, February 2nd 2023
CLP: "Together with my colleague Barbara Quentin, we have focused on returning to work after parental leave. This mainly affects mothers, but increasingly also fathers who go on paternity leave. Barbara lives in Germany, I live in Austria, we both work internationally in German and English and in both countries, we perceive that STILL too few companies focus on retaining valuable employees by facilitating the re-entry and not cementing it as a career knock. Here is an article on the topic from Barbara. If you are interested in the topic, we look forward to making an appointment with you to see what we can work out for you and with you." Please get in contact with me or my colleague Claudia Amler email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org ."
Article by Barbara:
For parents, offspring usually means significant changes in life. Priorities shift, child(ren) and family move into the centre of attention. Parental leave helps new moms and dads focus on what's new and on building relationships. At the end of parental leave, however, many questions may arise:
- What's next for my career?
- How do we, as parents, reconcile work and family in partnership?
- What can I do to do justice to everything - and especially to myself?
Create clarity about your own values, goals and framework conditions
In order to create a healthy basis for returning to work, it is helpful for the parent to clarify their own situation with a personal analysis. The birth of a child often shifts priorities in the parents' lives. Values change and professional and personal goals can be redefined.
Many emotions are at play and, in addition to the question of the partnership-based division of tasks and the care situation, it also makes sense to precisely grasp the economic framework conditions. It can be exhausting work to answer these questions honestly for oneself. However, it is worthwhile, as all resulting decisions and measures can be implemented with a special force.
What possibilities do I have to combine work and family?
Before returning to work, it may be important to be clear about the options available. You can think in scenarios that you can discuss with your partner, family, possible care services and the employer. For example, it would be helpful to find out about possible working time models that are possible after returning to work. Thought through in advance, these scenarios support clear and powerful communication in the network of compatibility.
How can a coherent compatibility be achieved?
It is clear that reconciling work and joyful family life can also cause many potential stressors. We can't turn off stressors (even if that would be nice sometimes), but how we deal with these stressors determines how relaxed and happy we feel in our lives. Working parents can strengthen personal resilience in turbulent times by identifying potential stressors and finding and practicing personal coping strategies early on. This includes planned emergency scenarios of childcare as well as time for replenishing one's own energy resources or time management strategies. We often perceive mistakes and problems much stronger than successes. This can lead to a downward spiral if we allow it. Therefore, work early on the right, positive mindset and networking with like-minded parental leavers.
How can HR managers retain top performers and high-potential employees beyond parental leave, make it easier for them to return to work and actively live family-friendliness in the company?
This is exactly the question my colleague, Barbara Quentin, asked herself and offers a 5-module training including individual coaching sessions for parental leave returnees as a solution. She works in the trainer duo with her male colleague, Michael Kiesswetter. Together, they meet the current challenges of reconciling work and family from both the male and female perspectives and use the space among like-minded people for mutual reinforcement and individual solutions. Both have many years of business and leadership experience as well as experience as coaches and trainers with a focus on work-life balance.
Authors: Barbara Quentin, trainer and coach with a focus on work-life balance and family-friendly structures in companies and Carmel Lee Paul