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

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