How to build a good environment for working parents at your company?
Just a few weeks ago we kicked off After Hours with The Recursive, a series of events focusing on tech talent, culture, and IT career development in SEE. The first one was dedicated to a topic that interests everyone in the industry — is it possible to develop professionally and simultaneously take care of your kids. BICA’s Co-founder Kiril Kaykov took part to share his view on the matter and how the leaders in the industry allow employees to improve their work-life balance.
Flexibility is one of the most important things a working parent expects from his employer. It becomes more and more important, especially since the onset of the pandemic, and shouldn’t be seen as a perk, but as part of the company culture. Kiril pointed out that at BICA we decided to reschedule some of our daily meetings in order to allow parents to safely take their children to school or kindergarten without the stress of being in a rush for a meeting.
The second essential for every working parent is recognition and continuous feedback. It is of great importance for employees with kids to hear from their managers about their progress. Through this, they can get out of their daily routines and reflect on how they perform. Companies and managers should be careful how to deliver this type of feedback. These conversations should focus on how the employee fits into the company culture and mission.
Additional parent-focused perks and bonuses are the third staple for every company that wants to keep working parents happy and motivated. Becoming a parent is one of the most important moments in everyone’s life, so people should feel the support of their employers in this journey. The preferred benefits at this moment are the extra days off when your child is born and bonuses, which allow parents to prepare for the big moment, including money, parenting courses, etc.
Turning parenthood lessons into business knowledge
In the conversation, Kiril shared some key lessons he learned from being a parent that helped him to be a better business leader. “I realized how to better manage my time and energy during the day, so I can be there for both my colleagues and my family. As a father, I want to raise my kid as a good human and lead my team to success,” Kiril points out.
“Adapting to change is the second thing I learned in my role as a parent. Although it’s been only a few months since I became a dad, this little human has changed drastically in this time. In this period his needs have changed as well, and I have to be there for it. So very quickly I learned how to adapt to them and to stay on top of the situation,” he adds.
Another main thing Kiril learned is the importance of leading by example. He shared how we implemented a practice at the company that all team members’ children can take part in our CSR initiatives. This way we want to show them how important it is to help others and to preserve the natural environment.
“Parenthood made me realize the importance of these qualities. I started to implement them more and more in my business life and they help to lead my team and build a good work-life balance for my colleagues,” Kiril concluded.
During the event Kiril highlighted two very common mistakes for employers when implementing а company’s strategy dedicated to helping working parents. The first one is not choosing the right person to develop a program to support working parents. It is crucial that the selected person is proficient on the matter and plays the role of an ambassador. This person has to have high quality standards and use his expertise to decide which benefits will make a positive impact in the day-to-day life of working parents.
The other mistake that is very common is similar to the previous one. Most of the time companies implement such strategies without thinking about the employees and their needs. It is just a checklist for them, and their only responsibility is to tick some boxes and brag about the perks they offer. In this instance, it is very important to understand the needs of different people and help them succeed both personally and professionally.
If you want to learn more about balancing between being an expert in the IT industry and a parent, check out the whole conversation between Kiril, Maya Zlatanova, Galia Jordanova and Victor Fachev. And don’t forget, this is just the first event of the series, so follow our socials to make sure you don’t miss the next one.