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职场 - 专栏

解决妈妈后顾之忧,留住职场精英女性

Georgia Collins 2011年07月28日

如果公司的明星女职员计划组建家庭,雇主应该怎么做才能留住她们?一位高管妈妈和我们分享了她的建议。

    我从没想过自己会成为一名职场妈妈。我的母亲曾是一位全职妈妈,那时的我也很享受,因为她能一直在家里陪我。如今,我曾经也希望能像她那样,即便现在也还是这么想。虽然一直抱着这样的想法,我后来还是有了自己的事业。

    在我组建家庭之前,我有大量的时间发展和完善其他的事情,比如职业技能,职业团队团队等,其中最重要的是一份对事业的热爱。如果让我一下子抛弃所有这一切,我觉得对我来说并非正确的选择。

    3月份,我儿子刚满5个月,这时候回去工作并不是件容易的事。我每天都在为自己要如何选择而矛盾不已。幸运地是,我认识了一些优秀的女士,她们来自不同的行业,但与我有同样的经历。她们既是了不起的妈妈,在职场中也有非凡的成就。这些女性在各个方面都是佼佼者。在面临如何平衡母亲的角色与事业的追求时,她们并没有为了某一方而牺牲另一方。恰恰相反,她们找到了平衡两者的方法,而且效果不错。

    我希望她们能为其他职场妈妈提供一些秘诀,并为雇主们提供一些建议,如何才能留住这些职场精英女性。

    她们给出了下列建议:

1. 寻求他人的帮助。

    我调查过的女性无一例外地表示,拥有完善的儿童保育解决方案对于成功重返职场至关重要。也就是说,要找到值得你信任的人,真正爱孩子的人,或许最重要的是,可以轻松与你进行沟通的人。这也意味着要懂得放手。我儿子就很喜欢他的保姆,但这并不意味着他对我的爱有一丝一毫的减少。

2. 与爱人合作

    我丈夫鼓励我重返职场。在我摇摆不定的时候,他最初的支持非常重要。但更重要的是,他始终都在给我提供支持。他的工作时间比较灵活,所以,当我需要在一大早参加晨会,或者我无法在下午6点准时到家时,他能代替我照看孩子。而且,他还替我分担了一些其他杂事,比如购物、准备饭菜等等。

3. 做自己喜欢的事情。

    如果不喜欢工作,重回工作岗位肯定行不通。虽然全职妈妈并不轻松,但它也能带来巨大的回报。但在职场上就难说了。如果你忍受不了自己的工作或者同事,这时候,你可能一整天都在想:要是能跟孩子在一起该多好。所以,如果不喜欢自己的工作或同事,那就做一下改变吧。

4. 设定界限,并严格遵守。

    我每天下午5点会准时下班,这样我就能在6点时到家。当然,这并不是说我从下午5点就停止工作了,而是说,从那一刻起到我儿子睡着的这段时间,我没法工作。这点时间非常宝贵,所以我非常珍惜。职场妈妈们也应该根据自己的情况,设定一个界限。

5. 与其他妈妈们建立一个关系网

    我重新开始工作之前,加入了一个由妈妈们组成的圈子。我们建立了一个Facebook圈子。最初只是为了在计划“游玩日”的时候,不必频繁给彼此发送电子邮件,不过到最后,这个圈子变成一个巨大的资源库,里面有各种各样的建议和信息,包括婴儿食谱和硬木地板无毒清洁剂等。尽管这个圈子里的人我几乎都没有见过面,但她们总是能提供有效的资源和支持。

    同时建议职场妈妈的上司们记住:

1. 切记,对于任何人来说,灵活永远都是好事。

    我“日常工作”的很大一部分是为公司提供建议,帮助员工提高效率。允许存在灵活性对于我们制定的策略至关重要。这条建议对于职场妈妈们尤为适用。或许与其他同事相比,她们在办公室的时间较少,但她们肯定会有效地利用可以支配的工作时间,这一点毋庸置疑。所以,如果雇主能让职场妈妈们自行决定上班的时间、地点,以及工作的方式等,她们就可以更加有效地平衡工作和家庭。

2. 依据结果管理(衡量)绩效。

    如果雇主一直按“出勤时间”来管理和衡量绩效,那就得重新考虑一下了。其实,雇主最终想要的都是高质量的结果。所以,管理者应该接受这样一种观点,即对于员工的管理与奖励,应该根据最终的结果,而不是强调他们为获得这一结果所花费的时间。

3. 为职场妈妈提供挑战的机会。

    当一个人认为工作充满挑战时,就会对工作更有热情。我休假的时候,我的老板跟我接触,称希望我回去之后能担任一个新职务。这一举动不仅表明他希望我能回去继续为公司工作,同时也激发了我的积极性:实际上,我非常希望能有新的挑战。所以,在我休假结束重回公司时,我很轻松就完成了向新岗位的过渡,因为在我休假时,我便已经完成了角色的转换。

4. 口头激励。

    休完产假后,我听到的最令我高兴的一句话是:“我们很高兴你又回来了。”话虽然很简单,但却意味深长。为了能够回来工作,我做出了牺牲。了解别人对我的出现和我做出的贡献心存感激,有非同一般的意义,尤其是当时我更想留在家里。

5. 切记,职场妈妈的另一半也应该被视为解决方案的一部分。

    职场妈妈们的伴侣非常关键。因此,将灵活工作规定的范围扩大到职场爸爸或配偶也非常重要。当然,我并不是说要“提供父亲产假”(如果可以提供的话当然更好),而是希望雇主明白,目前大部分家庭是父母双方都在工作。所以,公司的规定应该是以支持家庭为出发点,而不仅仅考虑职场妈妈,这样就能让所有人都受益。

    “时常感到矛盾,始终担心错过了重要的事情,总是有做不完的事,这样也挺好的吧。”但我不确定所有人都能认同这种观点。

    然而职业与家庭是可以兼顾的。要成功平衡职业和家庭,需要有灵活性、爱人的帮助、幽默感,或许还得在Facebook上建一个圈子。

    本文作者乔治亚•柯林斯为战略商务咨询公司DEGW的执行董事,负责北美地区业务。该公司旨在帮助客户改善工作条件。

    (翻译 刘进龙)

    I never thought I'd be a working mom. My mom wasn't a workingmom and I loved that she stayed home. I wanted to be like her. I still do. But somewhere along the line, I found a career.

    So before I started a family, I had a solid amount of time to build and refine something else -- a skill set, a team, and, most importantly, a passion for what I do. Suddenly walking away from all of that didn't seem like the right thing to me.

    It wasn't easy going back to work in March -- five months after my son was born -- and I'm still conflicted on a daily basis by my choice. Luckily, I know an extraordinary group of women who've taken the same path as me. They are amazing moms who also have incredible careers -- across a wide variety of industries. These women are overachievers across the board. So when it came to finding a way to balance being a mom and having a career, their starting point was not about compromising one for the sake of the other. Instead, it was about finding a way to make both work, and work well.

    I asked them what tips they would give other working moms and what advice they'd give employers about how to keep high-performing women in the workforce.

    Here's what they had to offer:

1. Outsource and embrace help.

    Without exception, all of the women I polled on this subject said that having a great childcare solution was critical to their success in going back to work. This means finding someone you trust, someone who loves your child, and perhaps most importantly, someone who you can easily communicate with. It also means letting go a little. My son loves his nanny but that doesn't mean that he loves me any less.

2. Partner with your partner.

    My husband encouraged me to go back to work. His initial support was crucial when I was on the fence. But more significantly, he has continued to demonstrate his support. His job is somewhat flexible, which means he can cover for me when I have an early morning conference call or when I can't be home right at 6pm. He's also taken on a more equal share of the errands, shopping, meal preparation, etc.

3. Do what you love.

    If you hate your job, it just won't work. Being a full-time mom is a huge job; it is also immensely rewarding. That is not always the case for work in the office. If you can't stand what you are doing or who you're doing it with, then you'll spend all day wishing you were with your child instead. So if you don't love what you do or where you are working, consider a change.

4. Set boundaries and respect them.

    I leave work every day at 5 p.m. so I can be home by 6 p.m. This doesn't mean that I stop working at 5 p.m., but it does mean that I am unavailable from that point until the time my son goes to sleep. That time is sacred and I protect it. Set the boundaries that work for you.

5. Build a network of moms.

    Before I went back to work, I joined a mothers' group. We set up a Facebook Group. Originally it was a way to plan play dates without flooding each other's inboxes, but it has become a tremendous resource -- a repository for advice and information on everything from baby food recipes to non-toxic hardwood floor cleaners. They are a constant resource and a support network even though I rarely (if ever) see them in person.

    And for those of you who manage working moms:

1. Remember that flexibility is a good thing (for everyone).

    A large part of my "day job" is to advise organizations on how to help their staff work effectively. Allowing flexibility is critical to the strategies we develop. This advice is especially true for working moms. They may not be in the office as much as their other colleagues, but you can be sure that they are using the work time they do have very efficiently. When employers allow working moms to make their own decisions about when, where, and how they work, they are more successful at balancing work and family.

2. Manage (and measure) performance by results.

    If you manage and measure performance by "face time," you may want to reconsider your approach. Ultimately, what we all want is high-quality results. We have to get better about managing and rewarding people for their results rather than emphasizing the time they spent to achieve them.

3. Offer challenges.

    People who feel challenged in their jobs enjoy them more. While I was on leave, my boss approached me about taking on a new role when I came back. Not only did this send a message that he wanted me back, but it also motivated me: I actually looked forward to having a new challenge. Making the transition to my new role was actually easier when I came back from leave because I had already shifted the responsibilities of my former role to others for the time I was away.

4. Provide verbal encouragement.

    One of the best things I heard when I came back from maternity leave was "we're so glad you're back." It is so simple, but it meant a lot. I am sacrificing something to be back at work. Knowing that other people appreciate my presence and my contribution makes a world of difference, especially on those days that I'd rather be at home.

5. Remember partners are part of the solution too.

    Partners are critical. To that end, extending flexible work policies to working dads or partners is key. And by this I don't mean, "have a paternity leave policy" (although those are good too). Instead, employers need to recognize that most families today have two working parents, not one. Policies that support families, rather than just working moms, therefore benefit everyone.

    I'm not sure anyone goes into this thinking, "Oh, wouldn't it be nice to feel frequently conflicted, to consistently worry about missing something important, and to never get completely through another to-do list again."

    But having both a career and a family is achievable. Success requires flexibility, partnership, a sense of humor, and perhaps a Facebook group.

    Georgia Collins is the managing director of North American business for DEGW, a strategic

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