When I first wrote this piece Co Vid 19 had not arrived. Now that it has I’m going to leave the post as is with an update at the end because I want to discuss how 1 of the Co Vid restrictions could prove to be a godsend for working women experiencing menopause symptoms and how this enforced new way of working could be an asset to any organisation and should bring about a much-needed change to outdated workplace practices in the future.
When it comes to menopause, many women feel they’re being helped out the door by companies who either don’t know, don’t understand or have no interest in finding out what’s happening to their employees and as such have not yet made any suitable arrangements in order to support them.
With the population living longer and if companies do not act to reverse these trends, this will have a devastating impact on our economy. We need to quickly realise there is a new and growing generation of older women who have a vital role to play in our workplaces and our economy and on that basis were going to look at ways in which you can offer and provide support which will in turn make it easier to retain valuable staff……. and we’ll begin with
Employee retention strategy
Low rates of employee turnover are an indicator of a healthy business. Preventing your company from becoming a revolving door makes it easier for you to plan long term, saves the expense of recruiting and onboarding and also assists in developing an internal company culture that can help drive the business forward.
However, for an employee retention strategy to be successful, it needs a holistic approach. That begins with taking the time to understand who your employees are and in this instance, your employees are those women experiencing the negative effects of menopause.
One of the best ways to support these women and in order to prevent them from leaving is to offer them flexibility which in turn can dramatically impact a companies ability to retain employees and avoid emergency exits.
As you are aware, things happen in life that we either cannot predict, cannot control, or cannot avoid. Menopause is firmly on the list of cannot avoid as an inevitable transition for all women. And when it comes to managing negative menopause symptoms in the work place, the last thing you want to do when trying to retain employees, is to force women to choose between their pressing personal needs and their jobs, largely because when it comes down to it, they will almost always choose their personal needs. Sometimes that’s not even a choice but moreover a necessity.
Offering flexible working arrangements shows you are a compassionate company that allows women to manage menopause in a way that is safe and without humiliation, without the threat of losing their jobs or worrying they may have sacrificed opportunities to advance their careers. Offering flexibility to your employees will also help to make your organisation become more flexible. You won’t suffer as a result of a shock exit and the offer of flexibility immediately identifies your company as being more sensitive to these women’s needs. This is something they will appreciate and in turn, will encourage them to stay with the company in the long term.
If you still use a rigid work arrangement, then it’s going to be tough for your menopausal employees to actively address their non-work-related needs, which will cause them great distress and possibly to the point at which they feel forced into leaving the company. As a result, you’ll want to offer your employees flexibility which they will identify as something special, making it easier for them to stay put instead of abandoning ship along with their life’s work.
So What Does Flexibility Look Like?
Flexibility is a great way to help reduce employee turnover rates, but what exactly do we mean by flexibility? In general, there are two ways you can incorporate flexibility into the workplace.
#1 is to allow menopausal women the chance to work remotely. Not having to commute to an office every day can alleviate the distress of early morning symptoms while allowing the woman the time she needs to recover from about of symptoms as well as affording her the time and privacy she requires to deal with her personal cares.
Working remotely will also remove the distress and anxiety of having to remain within the workplace while looking and feeling so out of sorts. This, in turn, will alleviate the anxiety and often embarrassment for co-workers who can be either directly or indirectly affected by someone else’s menopause symptoms.
#2 is to offer flexible scheduling: this means a woman will still need to come into work, but she can do so according to her own schedule, provided her output doesn’t suffer.
Most companies will opt for a combination of the two and offer flexible schedules combined with the opportunity to work from home one or more days per week, however, the best thing to do is take things on a case by case basis. This will demonstrate authentic sensitivity to people’s needs, something that will help build much better employee-employer relations.
Whatever option you choose, it’s important to set your employees up for success. If they’re going to be working from home, help them get set up with the tools and or software your company requires them to use. This will ensure they can still adequately perform their jobs while also benefiting from a flexible work arrangement.
Now that you see just how valuable flexibility can be to the success of your company, it’s time to start implementing this policy into the way you do things. If you’re not sure which is the best way to make your workplace more flexible, then consider consulting with employees to see what would work best for them. This will help shine some light on the right strategy for your company, making it easier for you to enjoy all of the benefits of a flexible workplace.
Update: Due to current Co Vid 19 restrictions, many women going through menopause will now be working remotely from home. Not because their employer has suddenly implemented a menopause policy that includes remote working, but because the company has been forced to move to remote working in order to keep the business afloat and get the job done.
Now this has happened though, there are some obvious benefits for the woman experiencing negative symptoms and here are the top 5
#1 Not having to take multiple showers along with several outfit changes before getting out the front door to work.
#2 No more lateness because hot flushes and other adverse symptoms kept her trapped indoors until they passed.
#3. No more anxiety about how to navigate a personal and unexpected catastrophe which involves getting to the workplace bathroom unnoticed.
#4 No desk fan to draw attention to menopause symptoms.
#5 Being trusted to remain super productive once daily symptoms have passed.
As an employer wouldn’t it be good to know that you’ve made all of that possible for your female staff and how much better it would be for all concerned if you continued to offer flexible and remote working for these women long after CoVid19 is dead and buried.
If you want to know an astonishingly easy way to manage menopause in the workplace, including how to create a menopause policy that’s specific to your workplace & gets the best out of your workforce visit Menocourse. In the meantime are you currently working from home while experiencing menopause symptoms? if yes how are you finding it? Or are you an employer who’s been forced to arrange and accept remote working for the first time. If yes how are you finding it?
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