Foster an Environment in Which Taking Leave is Encouraged and Supported
Companies must foster a supportive environment to ensure employees feel comfortable using their new PFML benefits. Otherwise, employees may not take advantage. As an example, the Boston College Center for Work & Family found that workplace supportiveness correlates with the number of weeks that new fathers take off.
Foster Change from the Top
Leadership has a major influence on company culture. Consider three ways leaders can set norms in their organization around taking advantage of PFML:
I. ROLE MODEL BEHAVIORS.
- Company leaders at all levels - from the C-suite to junior managers - should lead by example and take leave for qualifying PFML life events
- Company managers who don't have a need to take leave should commend those who do
II. BROADCAST AND COMMUNICATE
- Maintain awareness of PFML use by keeping PFML in the company dialogue
- Share examples and statistics of PFML use with your organization
- Don't make taking PFML a "big deal" - normalize it by discussing the benefit in the context of other benefits, during new hire training, with non-eligible workers, etc.
III. ENGAGE THE ORGANIZATION
- Talk with employees who took or plan to take PFML to learn their stories
- Have leaders share their own PFML stories with employees
- Engage managers of employees taking leave to understand if they have concerns and offer support