5 Ways Maternity Coaching Will Boost Your Business

In the past couple of months there have been two ground-breaking reports published that bust the myths about how women are fairing in the workplace after having children. Jessica Heagren’s Careers After Babies and Jane Johnson’s Life as a Working Mother are both very sobering reading and they highlight the importance of supporting women though this incredible, multi-faceted transition.

According to Heagren’s report 86% of women will be mothers by the time they are 40 and 98% of the 1,000 women surveyed want to work, however more than 25,000 women leave the workforce altogether each year – so what can organisations do to stem this talent leak?

Coaching your employees through the transition of becoming a mother is something that can be incredibly easy to implement, while at the same time have a multitude of far-reaching benefits for your business.
Let’s start by dealing with what maternity coaching is. At its very best, it is coaching that is put in place for an employee going on maternity leave approx. 6 – 8 weeks prior to their leave date. The coaching is then there to support the employee for the duration of their leave, throughout their transition back to work and for 2 to 3 months afterwards. Alongside this the employees line manager also receives coaching.
While there are clear advantages to the individual, what I want to talk about here are the myriad of benefits to be had by the employer as a direct result of putting maternity coaching in place. So here are 5 ways it’s going to boost your business:

1. Developing female talent

According to Careers After Babies, there is a 32% drop in women at management level. By
effectively supporting women as they transition back to work through coaching, alongside other policies supporting working parents, employers have a unique opportunity to provide a catalyst for progressing high potential women into senior management positions.

2. Attracting high quality talent

Parent friendly policies such as flexible working, enhanced paternity, maternity and parental leave and maternity coaching are fast becoming highly sought-after benefits. When you have them in place you will automatically set yourself above the competition as well sending signals of a company culture that values, supports and invests in its people. That said, it’s also crucial to have these policies visible and accessible to all. Make sure they are on the company website where potential and existing employees alike can easily find them.

3. Reducing attrition

There is a major cost in both time and money to replace team members. Investing in maternity coaching has a direct and positive impact on this talent drain. Women returning to the business are able to access support to plan how they want to return as well as having the time and space to discuss and explore their future career plans.

Moreover, coaching both the returner and their line manager leads to strong team dynamics and support systems, contributing to a successful transition back to work and beyond.

4. Increasing diversity and reducing the gender pay gap

Simply by implementing something that focuses on reducing the ‘motherhood penalty’ on women’s careers will have a positive impact on the gender pay gap in your organisation. What’s more maternity coaching is an incredibly cost-effective way to do this.

Also, the more positive and inclusive the organisation, the more balanced and diverse the workforce will become.

5. Increased employee engagement before, during and after maternity leave

Advocating and paying for maternity coaching for your employees speaks volumes. Employees who feel valued, supported, and listened to will naturally be more engaged, will want to contribute more and likely will want to progress their careers within an organisation that promotes these values.

The Halo Effect

As you will have noticed all these elements are interconnected. Attracting and retaining excellent female talent and supporting them in their careers, will naturally lead to increased representation at the highest levels. This provides greater opportunity for positive role-modelling within the organisation and demonstrates an organisation that supports and invests in its employees. Over time this evolves to become embedded in the culture of the business.

The Key to Success

As a final note, there are some important success factors to bear in mind. For a business to succeed in implementing any parent-friendly policies there needs to be buy-in from the top down – role modelling and ‘parenting out loud’ are great ways to do this.

But perhaps even more important than this is education and training at mid-management level. This is where day to day support is experienced and fostering a culture where all employees feel fully supported by their manager during their maternity leave and return to work is imperative.

If you would like to have a conversation about implementing maternity coaching in your organisation and how I can help you, please email me at jane@brilliantme.co.uk. You can find out more about the services I offer over on my website here.

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