Why your company should implement fertility and menopause policies now.
Or how to get your 40-65 male CEO to care about menopause and fertility in the workplace.
There is plenty of research showing that happy employees are more productive. and that objectively ranked happy companies (via Glassdoor and other review sites) outperform other publicly traded companies on the stock exchange.
As a senior executive told me recently, ‘Happiness is not a KPI’, and I get it; Businesses care about revenue, profit, and productivity, not employee happiness!
But listening to your employees and responding to their needs is crucial if you want your business to succeed. Only more today than ever, where employees are in short supply across the board and where there is an even greater shortage of top talent in areas as diverse as sales, engineering, software programming, data science, and more.
What should you do to attract and retain talent and make sure your employees don’t quit quietly (or even quit out of anger)?
A key step is to start implementing reproductive health policies in your company. For example, menopause support is a hot topic and will only grow in importance in the workplace.
Menopausal women are not only some of the best performing and most productive employees, but they are also tired of being ignored. According to the latest research, 42% of women consider leaving their job due to menopause.
If you don’t have a policy, why not take a look at a typical menopause policy template? Many companies, such as the BBC, Astra Zeneca, Diageo and Santander, already have these policies.
Ultimately, these productivity losses can cost more than $150 billion a year, according to research firm Frost & Sullivan. They show that other health care costs could rise to $810 billion.
Research by Bupa and CIPD in 2019 also found that almost a million women in the UK have left their jobs in the last year due to menopausal symptoms.
To avoid losing significant numbers of some of its most valuable employees, the 35-65 year old female workforce (which could be as many as 100 million employees in Europe and 50 million in the US), must offer rigorous menopause support.
Your employee brand is also likely to be labeled sexist and age discriminatory if you don’t start responding to this critical demographic of your workforce. Here are some of the best menopause websites if you want to explore more on this topic:
European Menopause and Andropause Society
International Menopause Society
menopause and me
Then there is the growing problem of infertility. One in six of your employees will have fertility problems. According to the latest research, more than half of employees with fertility problems do not receive support at work.
Did you know that 77% of Gen Zers and millennials said they would stay with a company if it offered fertility benefits, and a vast majority said they would even consider changing jobs for better benefits?
Fertility is no longer just a women’s problem. All family-building benefit policies must be developed to meet the needs of LGBTQ men and employees because up to 50 percent of fertility problems are their responsibility.
We know that IVF is still a luxury service for most people. This financial burden is an additional tax on women of color, LGBTQ+, and single people. That is why employers create health policies for people regardless of their age, race, gender, sexual orientation or marital status; promotes economic equity in the workplace.
Some of your company’s most productive and valuable employees could be struggling with a variety of issues, such as:
- Find the best egg freezing clinic
- Find the best IVF clinic
- What are the best ovulation apps?
- fertility support
And the results can be brutal for an employee, from having to take time out of their busy schedule to make appointments with doctors, to experiencing depression if their latest round of IFV has failed. The impact on his business could also be severe.
How can you best support your employees experiencing fertility issues at work? Read the Manager’s Guide to Fertility Challenges for more details on how you can help.
Encourage your employees to be open about their problems. This sounds easy, but it can be one of the toughest challenges. HR is often seen as ‘the enemy’ in this environment, with little companionship or employee loyalty.
Research shows that in many organizations, employees would rather talk to anyone about their problems than HR. In fact, the same goes for sharing the most personal and vulnerable information about your fertility journey.
1. Will HR ever use this information against me?
2. Will my colleagues support me? Or will they be critical and even cruel?
When asked about employee reluctance to turn to HR, a recent survey found that 37% of respondents believe that HR is more interested in defending their company than them.
Don’t you want to be an organization where your employees don’t feel such negative emotions and feel that they can open up and be vulnerable to challenges like menopause or fertility?
But if your company is a healthy place for sharing, you support your employees and allow them to share their challenges and problems, you can create many success stories and increase happiness, loyalty, retention and productivity in your company.
The goal has been to convert the reactive, compliance-focused HR model of yesteryear to one in which leaders are seen as trusted executive partners and advocates for employees. In this approach, HR leaders sit at the leadership table advising executives on culture and advocating for employees and their needs.
Until now, the fertility needs of many employees have been ignored by their employers. However, companies like Centrica, NatWest, Clifford Chance, and Twilio offer fertility support, from help finding egg freezing providers to IVF. For more information on menopause support and fertility support at work, visit here.