National water retailer Wave has launched a parent coaching initiative and a caring app in order to support its 320 employees with caring responsibilities.
It partnered with Companiions to provide an app that supports external caring commitments, and coaching and development provider Wishfish to help employees adapt to becoming a new parent.
Through the Companiions app, Wave employees can source emergency caring help for their family members if they are unable to themselves due to work commitments. The retailer will purchase hours of support, which will be banked to be used by employees as and when needed.
The app, which has a vetting process that includes DBS checks and interviews, has video call and message services and will support those with children and aging parents to balance their work.
In partnership with Wishfish, Wave introduced coaching for parents, including those who are adopting, before, during and after the start of their parenting journey. The coaching includes maternity and paternity support, help with preparing to go back to work, and ongoing assistance after returning. The business will also work with managers to ensure staff feel able to discuss any issues both before and after parental leave.
Jane Austin, director of HR at Wave, said: “At Wave, we understand that it can be difficult to juggle caring responsibilities with a career, and that often you can be called on for help when you least expect it. We want our employees to have a safety net in place so that should something happen and they are unable to be there, there is a solution. This will help people to navigate time constraints and ease the pressures of balancing their personal and professional lives.
“Access to coaching will ensure people return to work fully prepared and supported, resulting in a stronger and healthier working environment. It’s important that everyone feels valued and has access to benefits such as this.”