Measure the Outcomes of Your New PFML Benefit

Once you have rolled out a new paid family & medical leave benefit, monitor its effect on your organization to determine A) its overall effectiveness, and B) whether and how it could be improved. Measuring outcomes can also help inform other companies considering PFML about the business benefits and costs.

Assess Employee Sentiments

Download an array of survey questions to assess employee awareness and perceptions of your PFML policy as well as their attitudes toward and comfort using the benefit. Consider incorporating these questions into an annual employee survey.

Monitor Other Outcome Metrics

Also, consider monitoring metrics on program costs, policy utilization, employee retention, and talent recruitment to quantify PFML's impact on your organization. If possible, gather baseline data by quantifying these metrics before policy implementation.

Recommended PFML metrics

Use statistics on PFML utilization

  • Which employees take leave, and for how long (e.g., mothers and fathers, senior vs. junior employees)?
  • When do employees take leave (e.g., right after a new child is born, later that year)?
  • Do employees take their days of leave consecutively (if the policy allows for flexibility)?
  • How does the PFML utilization rate compare to company projections?

Cost of offering PFML

  • Which job positions tend to require temporary workers during leave (e.g., hourly workers, admins)?
  • What are the temporary worker replacement costs (including salary, training, and benefits, if applicable)?
  • How much time does HR/management spend administering PFML?
  • How do actual costs compare with company projections?

Changes in employee retention 

  • What did employee retention rates look like before PFML? After PFML? Analyze for all relevant groups, such as:
    • By employees who've used PFML vs. haven't used PFML
    • By type of leave taken, if multiple types are offered (e.g., parental vs. caregiver)
    • By seniority
    • By tenure
    • By gender

Changes in job applications

  • Has job applicant volume increased since the new benefit was announced?
  • Has there been a shift in the job applicant gender balance?
  • Have any recent job applicants mentioned employee benefits such as PFML during the recruiting process?

ETSY SpotlighT

Etsy has released initial data on the outcomes of their new paid parental leave policy (26 weeks regardless of gender):

  • Leave taken 50% by men, 50% by women
  • Of those who took leave, 35% were promoted soon before, during or after taking leave
  • Of those who were promoted, 41% advanced to director level or above