Paid leave is quickly becoming one of the most common demands for workers in all industries. After all, the United States is the only industrialized country in the world that does not have a national paid maternity leave policy in place, and one of only six countries that does not provide paid leave for fathers. Companies that neglect to offer paid leave often find that top talent is turning them down because of it.
The stats are clearly showing that paid leave is essential for recruiting and retaining top talent, but if you’re a small business or struggling economically, it might not be a financially sound option. Not all hope is lost, however – there are some strategies that you can use to provide your employees with competitive paid leave, even if you’re not a huge company just yet.
- Start with a Cost-Benefit Analysis
Providing paid leave is expensive, but how expensive is not providing it? A lack of paid leave can lead to a rise in failed recruiting expenses, not to mention the drop in morale and productivity that happens when someone quits. For some companies, the expense of paid leave is worth the boost in other areas.
- Include Male Employees
Traditionally, paid leave policies are reserved for mothers, but fathers are increasingly seeking paid paternity leave as well. Making your paid leave program available to all parents gives it a competitive edge in the current marketplace, and it also has huge social benefits – it helps maintain more diverse workplaces by allowing mothers to return to work if they so choose, and men who are allowed paid paternity leave get the chance to be more engaged with their children and thus become better fathers and partners.
- Engage in Changing National Policies
Small businesses employ just under half of the total workforce in the United States, and a coalition is forming to lobby for a paid parental leave policy. Get involved in this push for legislation in any way that you can; be an advocate, spread awareness, or join organizations that share your view on the matter.
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