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The HR leader’s checklist for supporting working parents

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    Working parents are struggling at home—and at work. Providing better support for employees as they start and raise their families can make a big difference in the lives of your employees, and positively impact your business as well. This checklist provides you with actionable takeaways for how to build a parent-friendly workplace.

    Working parents need more support than they’re currently getting

    Increasing economic anxiety, shifting reproductive health restrictions, and balancing work demands with raising children are all taking a toll on working parents. One in four parents report feeling burned out at work, and the National Institute of Mental Health estimates that lost productivity due to burnout and other mental health issues costs American companies $44 billion annually.

    While employers can’t control the challenges facing employees at home, you can offer additional support so they can better navigate the ups and downs of being a working parent. And your team needs this support: 41% of employees say that their employer could better support their family and reproductive health needs. 

    1 in 4

    parents report feeling burned out at work


    of employees say that their employer could better support their family and reproductive health needs


    The annual cost of lost productivity due to burnout and other mental health issues

    The benefits of providing better care for working parents extend beyond your employees. Companies that support their employees along their family journey see improved ROI, increased loyalty, and higher return-to-work rates after maternity leave. But where do you begin? We put together this checklist to help you examine your existing policies and decide which new policies and programs to implement.  

    The HR leader's checklist for supporting working parents

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    Ensure your benefits are accessible, inclusive, and well understood  

    Benefits are top of mind for working parents. Traditional healthcare often leaves working parents behind, and they need more tools and resources to support themselves and their families. Here’s how you can evaluate gaps in your benefits plans, particularly when it comes to inclusivity and accessibility for working parents.  

    Talk to parents in your organization 

    It may seem simple, but opening and maintaining a dialogue with parents in your organization is crucial to supporting them as they balance work and home. Consider running surveys, hosting a focus group, connecting with ERGs, or reaching out to parents individually to identify gaps in your benefits and solutions. 

    Holding a safe space for a discussion can help parents feel comfortable sharing what type of support they need the most, whether it’s more flexibility at work, treatment-specific benefits, or mental health resources. With insights from your team, you can offer personalized benefits that can help you address the diverse needs of your employee population. 

    Consider the user experience  

    Inclusive benefits also need to be accessible to different groups of people within your organization. Think deeply about the user experience of an employee: 

    - Are benefits straightforward and easy to access? 
    - Are offerings consolidated or spread across different providers and in different locations? 
    - How do engagement numbers compare among different benefits? 
    - Is the language advertising each benefit accessible and easy to understand? 
    - Are your benefits equitable across all office and employee locations?

    Accessibility is as important as inclusivity — if working parents can’t easily identify, discover, or make use of benefits specific to their needs, the benefits won’t be able to make a difference. 

    Emphasize diversity and inclusion in your offerings 

    Diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts are now table stakes for businesses. There are ample links between diversity and financial performance, and job-seekers (especially millennials) consistently cite diversity as one of the most important factors when weighing offers.  However, diversity and inclusion go beyond hiring— benefits need to reflect and support a diverse workforce’s needs. 

    Consider how you’re supporting historically marginalized groups like people of color and LGBTQIA+ community members, especially as it relates to starting and raising a family. Are employees able to access benefits regardless of their location, background, gender identity, or sexual orientation? For example, delineations between primary and secondary caregivers often don’t reflect the realities of LGBTQIA+ families, or fertility care that requires a diagnosis of infertility inherently excludes same-sex couples seeking treatment. Inclusive care is comprehensive care, after all.

    Modernize your family care and maternity care benefits  

    It’s more important than ever to support working parents, whether they’re trying to conceive, considering adoption or surrogacy, or raising children. For your benefits to be effective, they need to meet parents where they are. Access to care, quality of care, and continuity of care all significantly impact productivity for working parents.

    Expand access to telehealth and on-demand care 

    The response to the COVID-19 pandemic paved the way for accessible and affordable virtual-first healthcare. For working parents, this means they can easily find appointments for questions or support for themselves or their children, reducing their mental burden and the strain on their schedules. 

    Maven’s Parenting & Pediatrics program, for example, provides working parents with 24/7 access to on-demand appointments with specialty providers, with appointments often available within the hour. 

    Provide access to educational content and other resources

    It’s normal for parents and parents-to-be to have many questions, and it’s often difficult to find medically-accurate content online. Providing employees with access to a library of clinically-vetted content as they start and raise their families can be an invaluable resource. Finding a benefit that offers virtual workshops or peer groups can also help parents find the information they need when they need it. 

    Implement flexible work arrangements 

    Flexible schedules are among the most commonly offered benefits to help new parents readjust to work after parental leave. Providing parents with the flexibility to set their working hours as needed can ease their burden, preventing them from having to reduce their hours or leave their roles entirely.

    Support the mental health of working parents  

    Working parents often struggle with burnout, anxiety, and depression, and look to their employer for care. Supporting their mental health is mission-critical to keeping working parents productive and retaining them in your organization.

    Evaluate your company culture from the top-down 

    Company culture plays a huge role in the employee experience, from how they feel about their work to how they feel about themselves. Evaluate the messaging and behavior from executive leadership down to people leaders,  to identify areas for improvement, especially as it relates to working styles and engagement.  

    If working parents are experiencing difficulties with mental health or are slow to engage with or adopt new benefits, leadership can set a strong example to encourage improvements. This includes engendering positive attitudes towards taking leave, engaging in benefits, balancing work and life responsibilities, and asking for help when needed. 

    Provide resources that tangibly support mental health 

    Supporting mental health requires resources that can both educate those in need and comfort them as they seek help. Stigma surrounding mental health treatment affects millions in the workplace annually — a 2019 study by the American Psychiatric Association found that about half of American workers are concerned about discussing mental health issues in the workplace. 

    Providing resources for working parents can help combat the stigma while tangibly improving their mental health. Common mental health resources: 

    - Access to telehealth providers 
    - Educational content, webinars, and events 
    - Training for managers and people leaders

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    Supporting working parents in the office and beyond

    Becoming a parent is a dream for many, but starting and raising a family shouldn’t come at the cost of a career. HR leaders can make a tangible impact in the lives of parents and parents-to-be at their organization by implementing benefits and policies to better support these groups.

    As the leading women’s and family health company, Maven sees the substantial impact that family support can have on employees and companies alike: 

    • Over 90% of Maven members return to work, compared to the national average of 57%
    • 70% of Maven members report being more productive at work
    • 96% of Maven Family Building members are more loyal to employers because they implemented Maven

    Maven offers comprehensive, whole-person care for working parents throughout their family journey. With 24/7 access to on-demand providers, employees can receive the care, content, and resources they need to make healthy choices for their families and careers. To find out how Maven can help support working parents and parents-to-be in your organization, request a demo today.


    We’re always here to answer your questions—and that starts now.

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    Ready to provide better care to working parents at your organization?

    Maven is uniquely positioned to support employees as they start and raise families, no matter their path to and through parenthood.

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    Maven is the leading digital family health benefit for starting and raising a family. Providing end-to-end support across a full spectrum of needs, we’re there for your employees throughout the entire family journey with inclusive, accessible care that improves health outcomes, return-to-work rates, and reduces overall healthcare costs.

    Explore our solutions
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    Book a demo today to learn what:

    Your employees get

    24/7 access to providers covering 350+ subspecialties—at home or on the go
    Inclusive support for every path to and through parenthood, including access to providers with clinical expertise in serving the LGBTQIA+ community
    Dedicated Care Advocates to guide members to the right support for their needs—with support for 35+ languages

    Your company gets

    One integrated benefit configurable to your needs—no more managing (or paying for) multiple point solutions
    Savings on the biggest healthcare costs, with up to 3x return on fertility investment and 6x return on maternity investment
    Higher retention and return-to-work rates, plus increased productivity

    Fortune 500 companies and startups across industries trust Maven to create great employee experiences.

    When families are taken care of,
    teams thrive in and out of the workplace


    of working mothers will leave a job for an opportunity that better supports their work
    and life considerations


    of millennials would leave their jobs for fertility-related coverage

    1 in 4

    employers are seeing talent leave due to increased childcare responsibilities


    “Maven has truly been a success story from day one. Our employees are so very appreciative of this program. I’ve had people call me and say, ‘I couldn’t have come back to work without the support through Maven and SoFi.’

    Debbie Westover,

    Director of Benefits, Sofi

    Finance group testimonial image

    Healthy families make healthy companies

    If attracting and retaining top talent, advancing diversity, health equity, and inclusion, as well as reducing healthcare spend are top of mind for you, learn how Maven aligns with your priorities today.

    Ready to learn more?

    See the impact Maven could have at your company.

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