What’s on the mind of the working parents in your organisation?

I’m sure you would like to think that most of the time it is getting a great job done while they are work and making a great contribution their employee.

But of course life is more complicated than that. Nearly all of us have things on our minds which weigh us down and it is human nature that we bring those into the workplace. What’s more, not everyone wants to share or talk about them.

Last week I got a chance to find out what is on the minds of working parents when I looked through the themes – 431 and counting – that working parents said they would like help with on Parenthub, our new online advice channel for parents who are childcare voucher customers of Edenred.

The most common issues where working parents said they needed help with were around sleep and nutrition. Concerns about finance, childcare provision and managing work-life balance completed the list.

What was most interesting about this list to me was not that parents worry about sleep – everyone needs it and when you don’t get enough it’s hard to think about anything else – but the fact that three of the top five areas of concern are ones where employers can play a role

While there is little doubt that finding childcare, paying for it and planning for family finances aren’t the job of employers, I think organisations can do a lot to help employees as at all points of the journey into parenthood with the common problems that can take employee’s attention away from their jobs.

We all know now that distracted and stressed staff are less likely to perform and more likely to be ill, so providing help is a question of common sense which benefits both employer and employees.

To be clear, this isn’t about hand-holding but about education. 

I think that by empowering employees to think smartly about finances, health and other areas of their life whichimpact on working life we get to a place where they are better able to perform and more confident to have conversations about the things which are stopping them. 

Andy Philpott is sales and marketing director of Edenred