As any HR professional knows, managing employee parental leave is hard work. I’ve helped many parents plan their leaves — it always pains me to see the stress on their faces as they map out how they’re going to financially make things work. Although I’m not a parent myself, I’m passionate about family leave and feel a strong human connection when it comes to welcoming a new being into this world, and the impact it has on working parents.
When I started at Limeade in 2016, we provided two weeks of paid leave to our parents. I knew we could do better, and so did our employees. My own desire to see a change in our benefits alongside our inclusion initiatives as a company sent me on a six-month quest to improve this benefit for our employees. While providing more paid leave always made sense to me, going through the research strongly proved how much it aligned with us as a company — and our leadership team agreed.
The new Limeade parental leave policy
At Limeade, we believe that the best way to have an engaged workforce is by authentically investing in the well-being of employees. That’s why we decided to make some big changes to our parental leave for 2018.
Limeade now offers eight weeks of paid parental leave to all parents welcoming a new child into their lives.
We didn’t limit this benefit to the 2018 (and beyond) parents. With the support of our leadership team, we also offered parents who had a child in 2017 an additional two weeks on top of what they already received in 2017. I spoke with each of these parents individually to share the improvements coming and how it impacted them and their families — I’ll never forget the faces of our employees during the announcement.
The positive impact
Not only do these changes feel good, but research shows endless positive impacts on employee well-being, engagement and business results when companies provide paid parental leave.
According to an article by the Boston Consulting Group in 2017, more than 80 percent of companies with paid family leave reported a positive impact on morale, and more than 70 percent reported a boost in productivity. This is a powerful statistic. The increase in productivity and positive impact on morale was for more employees than only those who directly benefited from the leave. Employees want to feel like they’re working in a company that cares about them as individuals.
From the start, Limeade has always been very intentional about providing equal paid leave to both men and women. We believe this is vital in creating a more inclusive and engaged workforce. A 2016 article by the Peterson Institute for International Economics noted that, “when fathers have access to parental leave benefits, women achieve greater leadership roles.” And in a global survey of 21,980 companies from 91 countries, more paternity leave was strongly correlated with the percentage of women on boards. Through this research, we can see the business value of providing paid parental leave.
As HR professionals, we get to advocate for our employees and — to me — that’s very powerful and gratifying. This change is important for our business and, most importantly, our people.
About the Author
Mari Hegyi is a People Team Manager at Limeade. Since joining Limeade in 2016, Mari is committed to being an advocate for employees, a champion for culture and is always looking for ways to improve the employee experience. The driver of the new Limeade parental leave policy, PTO carryover and Well-Being Champion program, Mari is a part of the people team as a strategic manager and developmental coach.