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Employee Parental Leave Request & Preparation Workflow

Employee Parental Leave Request & Preparation Workflow

Run this workflow when you need to request time off for parental leave.
1
Introduction:
2
Enter your details
3
Make your request for parental leave
4
Approval: Request
5
Preparation:
6
Outline expectations during parental leave
7
Responsibilities & roles
8
Determine the work update schedule
9
Create a social schedule
10
Design a contingency plan
11
Approval: Contingency plan
12
During:
13
Record check-in meetings
14
Document any changes to the original plan
15
Approval:
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Return:
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Hold the pre-boarding meeting
18
Launch the re-boarding process
19
Initiate team-building activities
20
Review:
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Employee completes an assessment of the experience
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Schedule next check-in
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Additional Sources:

Introduction:

Organizing your parental leave can be stressful, exciting, full of anxiety, as well as a whole host of emotions you may not even be able to specifically articulate. This is a big moment in your life, and your parental leave down to every detail will help make the process of welcoming your new child much smoother. 

Before submitting your request, make sure to check your company’s policies (probably in the employee handbook), your benefits package, and the regulations in your area so you have a clear idea of what you’re entitled to. 

If you’re unsure, confused, or uncomfortable with any aspect of the plan, bring it up with your manager immediately. It’s much better to overcommunicate something than presume it’ll all work out later.

It’ll also take that one extra worry out of your head, and let’s be honest: You already have enough worries floating around in there. 

Enter your details

Use the fields below to enter both your details and your manager’s details. 

Make your request for parental leave

Fill out the expected details of your parental leave below. If there are fields you aren’t sure about yet (exact dates, need for a replacement, etc.), give your best answer. 

Later in the workflow, your manager and you will work together on the specifics of your plan. 

Now just sit tight and wait for your manager’s approval. 

After the request is accepted, you’ll move on to the planning and preparation stage. 

Approval: Request

Will be submitted for approval:

  • Make your request for parental leave

    Will be submitted

Preparation:

The following tasks should be completed once the parental leave request is approved but before your leave begins

Building a solid plan for your absence is vital to a successful transition. Think carefully about the resources your colleagues will need to cover your responsibilities during your leave.

Remember that your well-being is just as important during this time. Be realistic about what responsibilities you can take on, and if there’s any doubt, err on the safe side. 

Take into account that the next few months will be very unpredictable for you. This is a major change in your life that will affect you physically, emotionally, and psychologically; it’ll take time to adjust. Allow yourself that time.

Outline expectations during parental leave

Policies and procedures can differ greatly in different companies and regions, so it’s important that you’re fully aware of what obligations the company will meet, is required to meet, and isn’t responsible for. 

This task is designed for clarity and transparency. Human error is rampant and people easily forget conversations, even with the best intentions. 

Completing this task will make sure that you and your manager are on the same page regarding your pay and benefits while on leave. Again, one less thing to worry about, right?

  • 1

    Parental leave benefit
  • 2

    PTO
  • 3

    Sick days

Using Process Street Automations, you can set a trigger with DocuSign to automatically request signatures on the parental leave agreement between the company and the employee. 

Responsibilities & roles

Obviously, someone will need to take over your responsibilities while you’re away.

Depending on your team or company, this may mean tasks are re-distributed among the team members, an existing employee is temporarily transferred into the existing team, or an external hire is brought in to cover – either on a temporary or permanent basis. 

Determine the work update schedule

Staying updated on work tasks and events can be tricky when you’re off for only a day or two. 

Keeping in the loop long-term – while you’re also bending to the will of a small and demanding human – can become absolutely impossible. 

Creating a schedule to receive these updates will ensure that you know exactly what’s going on – in a way that works for you. 

Create a social schedule

Team dynamics are an incredibly important part of a positive and productive work environment. You spend a lot of time with these people every day, and likely know more about their lives than some non-work friends and family. 

While there’s an obvious need to keep track of work changes in your absence, keeping up with the social interactions is needed, as well.

New parents often find it difficult in those early months to keep up any of their previous social commitments, but – for your sanity – it’s an absolute must. 

When you return, there will also be less for you to catch up on. You’ll know all about the new houses, promotions, marriages, and so on that happened during your leave. 

Automatically adding the meetup dates to everyone’s calendar is a great way to make sure no one gets left out. 

Design a contingency plan

The best-laid plans, right?

It’s no secret that things go wrong. Frequently. And almost always in unexpected ways. 

While you may not be able to plan out every potential obstacle you’ll encounter, having a general plan on how to handle most situations will leave you better prepared. 

Your contingency plan will come into play if there are any complications with the child’s arrival, accident or illness while on parental leave, an extension of parental leave, or any situation where an ad hoc change is urgently needed. 

Include a secondary contact who can be reached in the event that you’re unavailable for some reason. This person will be given the authority to discuss the situation and make decisions in your place.

Make sure you inform your secondary contact of the role in the contingency plan and that they’re comfortable and available to be your contact point.


Approval: Contingency plan

Will be submitted for approval:

  • Design a contingency plan

    Will be submitted

During:

At this point, everything should be settled at work so can focus your full attention on your family. 

Remember to reach out to HR, your manager, or your colleagues if you have a work-related issue, and communicate transparently. 

That said, take a break. You’ve arranged an established schedule for contact from your team, and the company will still be there when you get back. 

Record check-in meetings

However you check in with your team, a record should be kept of each update. 

This will allow you, your team, and your manager to review previous updates in case details are forgotten or unintentionally left out. It’ll also save time and repetition by ensuring the same information isn’t included in every update. 

There are a number of ways to do this:

1. You can use this workflow to upload the notes in a document – either as a single file or by adding additional upload fields to this task.

2. The notes can be attached as a document for each scheduled event. 

3. Use Pages to create a knowledge base of updates and changes that can be reviewed frequently (including embedding images, videos, other workflows, and more). 

Automate to run a recurring parental leave check-in workflow? 

Document any changes to the original plan

As with the contingency plan, things don’t always happen the way we expect them to. 

This task is to record any non-urgent changes to your parental leave plan. This could include:

  • The frequency or method of updates
  • Who is responsible for organizing meetups and/or updates
  • Changes to who is covering which responsibilities
  • Organizational changes within the company

Approval:

Will be submitted for approval:

  • Document any changes to the original plan

    Will be submitted

Return:

“In fact, [the company] does change, and the employee themselves might have changed as well. Every reboarded employee should have a full acclimation back into the workforce that parallels what new employees get for their success.” – Tim Sackett, author of The Talent Fix

Your return to work is probably full of a lot of the same feelings your preparation included. That’s completely understandable. This is another big change and you can’t predict exactly how it will go.

The following tasks will help guide you through reintegrating into your team, and helping you, your team, and your manager facilitate that in the best way possible. 

Hold the pre-boarding meeting

Instructions

Discussion points for the meeting:

  • 1

    Significant changes within the company
  • 2

    Significant changes with the employee
  • 3

    Outline the re-boarding process
  • 4

    Ensure goals, values, & expectations are still in alignment

Launch the re-boarding process

You know how to do your job; no one’s denying that. 

However, you aren’t the same person you were when you went on parental leave. Your manager, team members, other colleagues, and the company as a whole are not the same, either. 

Yes, you’ve received updates and kept in the loop about what’s going on, but you’ve missed out on the small, day-to-day changes and adjustments that happen. These are things that are so subtle your colleagues probably aren’t even aware of, but you’ll notice immediately. 

Finding your place again can be difficult. You may feel like you’ve become deskilled or that you’re no longer necessary to the team. Perhaps someone who had previously been in a junior position has been promoted, changing the dynamic. Perhaps there are new employees who’ve joined, or new policies and procedures you’re aware of but haven’t yet done.

It can be a confusing and complicated time for everyone, but a detailed re-boarding process can will smooth over that transition for everyone.

Automations can be used here to integrate another Process Street workflow in this one, enabling you to launch a specific re-boarding workflow from this task.

The following webinar offers more detail on all things Automations:

Initiate team-building activities

Getting back into the swing of work tasks isn’t the only priority when you return from parental leave. To be truly productive, a team needs to be cohesive, and team cohesion doesn’t just happen by accident.

A cohesive team requires trust, communication, and respect. The best way to foster those elements within your team is through team-building activities. Not the awful ones where your team is only united in how much they wish they were doing anything else, either. 

Choose an activity that everyone on the team will enjoy, that’s low pressure, and puts everyone on an equal playing field. 

Using an app like Dive provided a great context for games everyone will be familiar with. It’s also great for remote teams since it can be played either through the web app or integrated with Zoom. 

Review:

Employee completes an assessment of the experience

Answer the following questions about your experience of the process of requesting, taking, and returning from your parental leave. 

Your answers will be helpful in making improvements to the process, but it will also highlight areas you may not have been as supported as you should have been, or discovered something came up that could’ve been planned for. 

Rate the following from 1-10.

Schedule next check-in

The final task now is to schedule the next check-in with your manager. 

Additional Sources:

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