from the Turning Good People Into Top Talent blog series
By Bob Moore, CMC, Managing Principal, Talent Management Institute
Software maker Adobe Systems became the third company in recent days to expand maternity leave to 26 weeks to give parents more time with their newborns. The United States is one of only a handful of countries that does not have guaranteed paid maternity or paternity leave, and the amount of maternity leave for their employees is determined by the company. This compares to nearly 100 countries that offer 14 or more weeks paid leave.
Because high tech companies are having difficulty attracting and retaining top talent, they have recently taken the lead to improve parental leave. Ray Baumruk, a partner and employee research leader at Aon Hewitt, states that this is an indicator of how the talent market has heated up and gotten more difficult for employers in the tech industry to differentiate themselves and attract top talent. He also said that other industries will follow the technology sector’s lead and potentially change policies in the future.
This may help in attracting top talent, but it may not be the solution to the retention and engagement problem. One of the challenges will be to get employees to take the benefits they are provided. It is not unusual for workers to forgo time off because they are concerned about falling behind or losing connections to a project.
I recommend two elements be added to the time off and paid leave that companies offer. You must create a culture that supports and encourages using these benefits. There must also be a team where members trust and support each other. The extreme levels of workplace stress is another element that business leaders must address, not just for parents of newborns, but for the entire workforce.
Bob Moore, CMC