Terri Martin – Kochie’s Business BuildersCEO and Founder, The Business Bunch
Why working parents are a great asset to any business.
If you avoid hiring parents due to their family commitments, you could be missing out on a brilliant business asset. Terri Martin, CEO & Founder of The Business Bunch, explains why working parents could actually be the secret to your business success.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 25.4 per cent of families with kids aged zero to four have both parents working full-time and 74.7 per cent of families with children under 15 have mothers who are employed.
In single parent families in 2022, 81 per cent had an employed single mum.
I was surprised to read this, as I find myself constantly in conversation, typically with smart, career-driven women, who are struggling to get back into flexible and interesting work that enables them to manage their career and family life in a considered way.
Herein lies the problem – it’s having the ‘flexible and interesting work’ piece that is not apparent in these stats. Perhaps if we asked those same parents whether they were happy with how they were managing their work and family lives, the results wouldn’t be too favourable.
Since COVID, I’ve met more parents who are concerned about their children, struggling with work-life balance and who want to take a step back from their work and careers.
These are brilliant parents with distinguished careers who just want to do things differently. While some organisations are doing great work in supporting working parents, there are as many that aren’t and more importantly, are missing the enormous benefits associated with hiring from this incredibly lucrative end of the talent pool.
The crazy thing is that while organisations do have to make adaptations for working parents, such as providing part-time or flexible/hybrid work options, this is a tiny price to pay for the immense benefits that parents can bring to the workforce.
What benefits can working parents provide to your business?
Working parents are self-starters, motivated and proactive … nothing would get done at home otherwise.
Problem solving and decision-making is the daily norm; some parents do it with their eyes closed. Running a team is like running a family – you’re constantly nurturing, educating and delegating.
Parents deal with children’s rubbish all day, so they’re unlikely to want to put up with it in the workplace. They cut to the chase and you’ll know where you stand, which saves a lot of time.
I have never seen people work as fast as parents. They’re rarely around the water cooler; instead, they’re getting the job done as they often have places to be after work.
By the bucket load! From decades perfecting their expertise, sharpening the tools of their trade and climbing the proverbial ladder.
When the going gets tough, the tough get going and working parents often exhibit the drive and resilience acquired through parenting in their day-to-day work.
Ways of working
Parents use processes and frameworks to allow them to get through work quicker. They are masters of developing a working style and systems that help them do this.
Shared values are at the heart of many families; it drives behaviour, priorities and operations. Working parents are the type of employees to seek out shared values at work, too.
Because they appreciate flexibility, they also provide it, making them easy to work with and ready and able to adapt – and even promote meaningful change.
Packed with experience from life and long careers, many working parents bring unique talents, knowledge and wisdom that is only gained from the work/family life juggle.
Both in emotion and resources, there is a lot to be said for the stability, sensitivity, open-mindedness and ability to really listen that comes with maturity.
The combination of these characteristics culminates in people who can make an extraordinary impact and bring significant value to organisations that are open-minded enough to recognise it.
If you update your operating models to accommodate for parents working part-time or flexibly, you’ll open up your organisation to an unrivalled talent pool that will drive your business forward.