Work… we love it. OK, OK, sometimes we hate it (though not at Team Jaleesa, of course). But it’s an essential part of life for most parents, both moms and dads.
Many customers at Jaleesa reach out to us when they have to return to work after maternity leave. Lebanese law doesn’t give generous leave, so we have many moms with three month-old babies who can barely imagine leaving their new baby for eight hours a day. We’re happy that we can help make that experience more pleasant for both moms, dads and babies, by connecting them with a trained and trusted nanny.
But that wrenching moment is just the first in many challenges that working parents face.
And awareness is finally growing about how important it is to support parents in the workplace. The World Economic Forum says that if women participated equally in the global economy, GDP growth would increase by $28 trillion by 2025. And issues with child care are the single biggest barrier to returning to work for moms (according to a survey by Momsnet, reported in The Guardian).
It’s not just a macro-economic issue. Companies across Lebanon are staffed by parents at all levels. And those parents don’t stop being parents when they go to work.
We’ve been working with the HR department of a major Lebanese company, who told us 55% of their 3,000 employees are parents. If they each take the global average of six sick days a year to look after kids, the company is leaking over $850,000 in lost productivity. Can the company, or the Lebanese economy, afford that?
Major challenges for Lebanese companies
And that’s not all. If a company doesn’t have the right parental package, it can face other major challenges, like:
- Productivity: imagine trying to focus on work while worrying about the cost or quality of child care, or watching the clock because you have to rush off at 3:30 to pick up the kids. Employees who are satisfied with their work-life balance work 21% harder, according to a survey of over 50,000 companies.
- Recruitment: not being able to attract top talent because the package isn’t adapted for modern family-work life.
- Retention: 83% of millennials say they would leave their job for one with a better family care package. And every time a business replaces a salaried employee, it costs 6 to 9 months’ salary on average. For a manager making $40,000 a year, that’s $20,000 to $30,000 in recruiting and training expenses (source).
Turning a problem into an opportunity
On the plus side, when employers have a positive approach towards employing and retaining parents, they can realise gains like:
- Gender Parity: creating a work environment where women can succeed. If you were ever in any doubt about women’s value in the workplace, check this article full of killer statistics.
- A Diverse Labor Force: access to a wider pool of men and women
- A Skilled Labor Force: access to a wider pool of skill sets and competencies
- High Employee Retention: minimizing the high cost of turnovers
So how can employers in Lebanon turn the problems into opportunities? That’s the billion-dollar question for companies and the Lebanese economy. We’re working with some top companies currently to work out the answer. And YOU can help us get there:
- Working parents, let us know what you need and want from your employer, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or sending us a Facebook message.
- Employers, if you would like to make your business a top performer with happy staff, contact our Partnerships Director, Lara Ghibril. Email her now at email@example.com.
… and finally – if you need child care NOW, sign up to our site. In five minutes you could be chatting with qualified nannies near you.
Source: jaleesa blog