Attracting and keeping great talent is a key factor in running a successful health care practice. Patients often base their willingness to return to a practice on their experience interacting with practitioners from whom they’ve received care or treatment. With rising costs of day care and lack of support from employers, often, talented young parents will opt to stay at home or take a step back in their careers to focus on raising a family. To keep young professional parents engaged, here are three ways employers can support employees with children.
On-Site Day Care
Many parents of children report that finding reliable and affordable child care is a major barrier to fully returning to the workforce after having a child. While there are many pros and cons of supplying on-site child care, one huge benefit for employees is the peace of mind they get from knowing that their child is nearby. This is especially convenient for mothers of infants and toddlers who are nursing. Offering on-site day care to prospective employees is one way to distinguish your practice’s benefits, attract top talent and mitigate turnover.
Dependent Care FSA
Offering employees the chance to contribute their pretax earnings to a Dependent Care Flex Savings Account (FSA) is appreciated by employees who are parents. They can opt to have a part of their gross pay deposited into a Dependent Care FSA, and funds can then be used to pay for dependent care expenses, such as preschool, after-school care or even something fun, like a summer camp experience. Depositing a portion of gross pay also has the tax advantage of lowering total taxable income. Employers can go one step further and offer to match contributions. Matching employee contributions to Dependent Care FSA plans can be a good alternative to providing on-site day care for employees with children while still helping to alleviate the burden of balancing work and child care.
Offering employees with children a generous and flexible PTO package may also help attract and retain top talent within your organization. In recent years, some larger companies have tested unlimited PTO plans that focus on employee productivity rather than time clocked in at the office. Small medical practices can adapt parts of this philosophy, allowing employees to take time off to manage family errands, such as medical visits and school appointments, if employees sufficiently complete their assigned duties. In the case of a child’s unexpected illness, this allows the employee to go home and focus on their child rather than remain at work where they could be distracted or otherwise preoccupied.
While some of these suggestions will have an upfront cost, the return of retaining employees and letting them know how much you value their contributions is priceless. It could even increase their productivity. Extra support for employees with children is just one of those benefits that prospective employees consider when choosing a new private health care practice to work for.