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How to Design an Employee Survey For Your Working Parents

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The goal of HR departments is to ensure that employees are receiving the support they need to stay engaged and productive in their roles. This is particularly true for those employees that are working parents. 

A recent report by Great Place to Work suggests that companies that adequately address employee burnout levels and barriers to engagement can expect to see a 20X increase in employee retention

While companies will not be strangers to employee surveys, only 22% of companies are designing these surveys effectively to get good results. So, how do you make sure your survey provides insights into how to better support working parents

HR professionals must get to the heart of these employees’ pain points by asking for honest feedback and having open conversations around company policies and resources. 

Getting to the Root of Working Parents’ Pain Points

The Covid-19 pandemic painted a clear picture of the complexities that are involved when trying to balance career and child care responsibilities. 

Participation levels of women in the workforce dropped to 57% last year and a two-year recovery is projected to return to pre-pandemic levels according to a recent McKinsey report. Parents, especially working mothers, are facing multiple challenges daily and require robust employer-sponsored assistance programs to keep engagement levels high.  

To retain and support these employees, HR leaders need to take measures to adequately identify and address their pain points. How is this done? 

  • Speaking with working parents directly
  • Capturing the concerns and perspectives of team members across all organizational levels

Honest employee feedback will always be an integral part of improving the employee experience for working parents. Employees see open communication as an unspoken benefit that is more valuable in boosting company morale than any free lunch ever will. 

Key Areas Your Employee Survey Should Focus On

Every family scenario is different; the pain points of one working parent may not the same for another. For that reason, employee surveys should focus on the following key areas to ensure it paints an accurate picture of the employee experience. 


In this section, questions will need to assess a working parent’s intent to stay working with the company, their loyalty to the company, and how involved they are in the company.

A working parent’s engagement level may rely on how accessible child care services are. If their child care responsibilities mean that they are unable to work overtime to complete deadlines, this could be an indication that the employee needs additional employer-sponsored assistance programs

Barriers to Productivity

Employee surveys should feature questions that highlight core themes that could act as barriers to productivity for working parents, in particular: communication, resource availability, and career progression. 

Measuring the feedback to this section of the employee engagement survey will help your organization identify those organizational processes or policies that are currently beneficial and those that aren’t. 

Quality of Support

One of the stark realities of the Covid-19 pandemic is how few working parents felt that they had the support and resources they needed to navigate balancing both work and family responsibilities. A Catalyst survey found that 41% of parents felt they had less job security or would be penalized due to child care responsibilities during 2020. 

Employee surveys must assess whether the support parents are receiving from leadership, management, and benefit programs are impactful. 

Example Questions to Ask Working Parents

While your company may have specific key topics that you’d like to focus on in your survey, below are several sample questions HR professionals should consider including when addressing the concerns of working parents: 

  • My company supports the lifestyle that I want to lead as a working parent
  • I feel that I have enough flexibility in my work schedule to handle family responsibilities 
  • The parental leave policy the company offers supports my role as a working parent
  • My manager supports in ensuring that I balance my time between work and child care responsibilities 

The rule of thumb when designing an employee engagement survey is to keep it short and simple, avoid discussing two topics in one question, and stay away from yes/no questions. 

Employee Surveys: Actionable Insights Drive Improved

Once feedback has been received from the employee survey, HR professionals along with C-suite executives must work together to analyze insights and create a comprehensive plan that is aimed at creating a parent-inclusive workplace to improve the employee experience for working parents. 

While this plan will differ between organizations, most companies find that working parents experience boosts in productivity and performance when they have access to a robust employer-sponsored child care program that offers flexible parental leave, on-site child care services, and fertility benefits. 

How Vivvi Helps Employers Support Working Parents 

Vivvi partners with employers of all sizes to make exceptional care and learning care more accessible and affordable. With flexible offerings and global coverage across campus, in-home, in-office, and virtual care, Vivvi meets the needs of your business and your employees where you are. 

Visit our employer page to learn more about the benefits and ROI our child care offerings have provided to businesses like yours.

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