Category Archives: Resources for employees

3 skills working parents and their managers must develop

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Working parents need 3 core skills to ‘thrive’ at work and at home: Adaptability, Flexibility and Resilience. 

We’ve all heard the expression “Got a job to do? Give it to a busy person (aka: mum).” But just how much can one busy ‘hands on’ mum or dad handle before the juggling balls begin to fall and bounce all over the place? How is your corporate culture contributing to the success or failure of your working parents’ ability to respond to the ever changing needs of their family and job?

Organisations who strive to help their people achieve their maximum potential ‘get it.’ It means providing employees with the necessary tools, support and training to be Adaptive, Flexible and Resilient to cope with the ups and downs of life being a ‘worker’ and a ‘parent’. Here’s some tips to help your organisation build resilience, adaptability and flexibility amongst your working parents: Continue reading

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Tips for single working parents

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Single parent families are now the single fastest growing family type in Australia. It has been predicted that over the next 20 years, the numbers of one-parent families will soar by up to 70%. Single parents face different (not necessarily more) challenges to coupled parents. Their needs are unique. One of our working parents recently asked for some support in this area.

Here are some resources and tools offered by one of the single parents on our Parents@Work team…

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Connecting with Kids: Building resilience and self-worth in your children – Our special event reviewed

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Yesterday Parents@Work hosted their first special event Connecting with Kids: Building resilience and self-worth in your children. Emma Walsh, founder of Parents@Work interviewed positive psychologist Sarah-Jayne Whiston from Bright Ideas Psychology.

The interaction and personal sharing’s of Sarah-Jayne and the other participants on the call (including our host Emma!) were invaluable. It felt like a very supportive place to delve into some hot topics we don’t often get the chance to explore in our day-to-day business of being a working parent.

The session was jam packed with gems of wisdom but the key take-outs were…

  • We build strong foundations of a deep connection with our children by consistently offering them open and honest communication
  • Question yourself: ‘how much are you really open to the connection and understanding of the ‘world of the child’?
  • Honour your child when they offer a reflection – check in with your own ‘vibe’ or energy and ask yourself if you could be a more active listener.
  • Self-care is our number one responsibility as a parent. Similar to being on a flight – we need to adjust our facemask in an emergency first if we are to effectively support another.
  • Mindfulness and ‘dropping back into the body’ are key tools to developing great self-awareness and self-care.
  • Take care how you’re thinking about work. You choose how you start your day and remember your presence is contagious – there is a great responsibility in that – both as a parents and a worker.
  • It is normal to be human and make mistakes – no one is perfect, not even Supermum! Bring understanding to the picture whenever things go awry.
  • Communication and expression doesn’t always have to be positive. Allow space for all feelings – your own and your child’s.
  • Bring lightness to the mix. A playful attitude as well as being present, understanding and flexible are key ingredients to building a strong connection with children of any age.
  • Quality over quantity time with children needs to be valued, especially where guilt gets in the way of a parents perception or judgement of themselves.
  • It is possible to re-build a deep connection when children get older. We can do this by adapting to their changing needs, offering them more responsibility to build trust and allowing them the space to make their own mistakes without judgement or ridicule.
  • We can support children to deal with bullying and peer pressure by equipping them with the skills to 1) deal with rejection and 2) to respond in a way that fosters self-empowerment and integrity i.e. role modelling what loving behaviour looks like.

Dialling in to the teleconference on my mobile made the experience so simple to be a part of. I didn’t feel the need to speak as I didn’t have any burning questions at the time however I got so much out of hearing the experiences and queries of other working parents – they actually helped me realise I did have some questions!

Thank you SJ, Emma and Parents@Work – I’m definitely looking forward to more.

Teleconference attendee and working parent.

The Recording

If you missed out on joining this special event and would like a recording of the call, please request one via bookings@parentsatwork.com.au.

Further Information

If you would like to get in touch with Sarah-Jayne Whiston visit Bright Ideas Psychology.


T: 0423 220 776

Suite 310, 20 Dale Street, Brookvale

www.brightideaspsych.com

www.facebook.com/BrightIdeasCoach

Another great resource SJ recommends for working parents is the Raising Children website. They have a whole series on Work and Child Care articles.

Connecting with Kids:  Building resilience and self-worth in your children Course Outline.

More special events are already planned. To receive updates and what courses and special events Parents@Work run subscribe to our monthly newsletter here (scroll to the bottom of the page for the sign up form).

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6 ways employers are raising the bar on gender equality

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2015 Employer of Choice for Gender Equality (EOCGE) citation holders are raising the bar when it comes to creating gender equal workplaces. Here are a few examples of how they’re doing it:

Tackling unconscious bias

Cars and IT: these two traditionally blokey areas come together at Carsales.com. However the leadership team recognise the value of having an employee profile that reflects the diversity of their customer base. Carsales.com has embarked on a journey to promote gender equality within their organisation and industry. A key feature has been unconscious bias training for the exec and senior leadership teams, with a view to rolling it out across the whole organisation. The training has opened eyes about the subtle ways gender bias can creep in to the workplace and has sparked a new process for reviewing job advertisements to make them more appealing to women and men – for example highlighting opportunities for flexible work and equal opportunity objectives.

Removing return-to-work barriers

Leading organisations are bolstering their efforts to make it easier for women to return to work after having babies. Maternity leave has traditionally been a danger period for losing employees as they become disconnected from the workforce and struggle to find childcare or negotiate suitable work on their return, which may be part-time. Caltex Australia has moved into the third year of its innovative BabyCare program and recorded an increase from 80% to 100% of new mums returning to work after parental leave. The program provides a quarterly 3% bonus for the first two years to cover childcare costs, assistance to find suitable childcare and paid access to an emergency nanny service. While not every new parent in future may want to come back to work, removing financial and care-related barriers makes a big difference.

Getting flexible 

Momentum is building around flexible working, with the recognition that both women and men may have caring responsibilities or other interests while still being committed to their work. Some organisations have moved to ‘All roles flex’ models – such as Telstra – and others are actively promoting flexible work through manager training and internal communications including video and poster campaigns. Suncorp has introduced a range of flexible work arrangements to give people a say over when, where and how they work – with 84% of employees saying they are now working with a degree of flexibility.

Setting targets

More organisations are setting targets to drive action on gender equality within their workforce. Engineering and construction firm GHD operates in traditionally male-dominated industries. They have set a target of a 40% female workforce by 2020, with at least 30% of professional and technical roles held by women. The target isn’t about preferring one gender over another, but rather introducing systems such as balanced shortlists for internal and external recruitment that allow women’s merit to be revealed. Setting targets has already made a difference, with an increase in female leadership appointments over the last six months in the company’s Australian operations.

Dads are parents too 

Parental leave has traditionally been treated as women’s business, but leading employers are recognising that true gender equality means recognising fathers as parents too. This year, there have been moves by several organisations to expand and promote their parental leave programs for men – in particular to encourage men to take primary carers leave. This gives new dads hands-on time with their babies and allows partners to share caring responsibilities. Under Lend Lease’s parental leave arrangements, each parent is entitled to 18 weeks paid parental leave as a primary carer at any point in the first 52 weeks. If they both work for the organisation they can tag team their primary carers’ leave to help manage childcare.

Recognising domestic violence as a workplace issue

There is a growing recognition among employers that domestic violence impacts the workplace and that policies to support employees experiencing domestic violence can make an important difference to their lives. Origin Energy recently implemented domestic violence leave that is uncapped depending on individual circumstances and doesn’t reduce other leave entitlements.

Source: Workplace Gender Equality Agency

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Supporting Working Parents – it’s time to act. Australia Human Rights Commission website to help employers and parents

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Spurred by shocking statistics last year that exposed 1 in 2 women and 1 in 4 men experience discrimination during pregnancy, parental leave and the return to work period [1] the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has responded by launching a website for employers and employees to understand their legal obligations and entitlements better.

The new Government website – Supporting Working Parents – has been developed to help bridge the ‘gap between the law and education, and proper implementation’[2] of policies and practices that support employees with caring responsibilities.

The website includes “a compilation of leading practices and strategies being implemented in workplaces around the country to retain and support talented women and working parents,” said Elizabeth Broderick, Sex Discrimination Commissioner.

At the launch, employers were commended on their intention to ‘do the right thing’ but it was highlighted that many simply ‘don’t know what to do’ and ‘need guidance’.

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