Helping Moms Get Back to Work

Fri 09 Dec 2016 02:12:00 PM EET

Career Star Group's Italian partner, INTOO, has created an innovative program called moms@work, facilitating the professional reintegration of mothers following maternity leave. This article was first published in Career Star Group's Blog.

INTOO supports people during the process of redeployment, both within and out of the corporate context, with the aim of fully meeting the objective of professional growth.

Career Coaching activity is at the basis of the goal to promote career changes that can meet the needs and expectations of an individual. The development of individual skills and increased personal prospects within the world of work are at the root of a philosophy that regards people as valuable resources.

In this context, INTOO has put forth significant effort in developing an initiative dedicated to maternity management in organizations, with the goal of facilitating the professional reintegration of mothers after maternity leave.

We know that maternity represents a critical phase in terms of work-life balance. The mother deals with a very different personal situation. However, the company at which the mother is employed must also manage the maternity leave and the re-entry period, avoiding inefficiencies and lack of focus.

After maternity leave, women frequently undergo a crisis moment with their professional role. As a new parent, their former professional role may seem different and they may need to adjust and adapt as necessary; they may not be up to date on the company’s new organization; and they may struggle to balance work and private life. Very often, there is a wide range of complex feelings regarding their past hard work and commitments, as well as a struggle to maintain an accurate acknowledgment of their capabilities. As a result, maternity is often a reason for abandoning work.

During this phase, women need to be supported, informed, trained, and coached.

INTOO with moms@work aims to support organizations that want to face in a more organic and structured way the diverse impact bound to parenthood at work, to facilitate the new parent’s successful re-entrance to work, reinforcing the motivation and evaluating the competences of the double role and the joint responsibility between the worker and the company.

INTOO suggests bringing together all of the moms and dads in groups. During the workshop activity, the new parents share their experiences, allowing them to become aware of the same common worries and feelings. They find a new motivational drive to be positive and proactive at work. With psychological assistance, they learn how to reach the full understanding of the enrichment to both personal and professional identity offered by the maternity experience.

To reinforce them, INTOO also suggests three different coaching moments to parents.

The first is before the maternity leave. Through individual meetings between the coach and the future mom or dad, the parents are led to better understand their personal needs considering the company’s and team’s requirements.

Second, after the child’s birth, during an individual coaching session, the new parent learns how to reconcile family needs with the new organization working environment.

Finally, after 4 or 6 months, as the parent is back to work, INTOO suggests a coaching meeting to evaluate the level of satisfaction of the new parent and the company, as well as to suggest a realignment of the person’s professional path, if necessary.

In a few cases, it is also necessary to support the Key Managers who face the maternity of a new parent on their team. This support promotes greater awareness of the Managers regarding organizational implications as well as personal feelings of the mother generated by the period of absence from work. Importantly, this support also allows the identification of ways of involvement and conversations during the maternity leave in order for the new parent to stay in touch with the company, providing and improving the use of motivational and managerial levers to reduce the critical impact of the maternity leave and the reintegration of the mother.


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