Deborah, who co-founded BettyConfidential in 2008, said she’s dealt with the issue by giving employees the ability to set their own schedules. That approach works, she says, because she hires entrepreneurial types with strong self-management skills.
“We work very hard, but we listen and treat people with respect,” she said to the Times. “If someone goes to a parent-teacher conference, a sporting event or a play group, it’s fine if the work gets done.
Experts also suggest that owners and employees communicate openly about the possibility of taking maternity leave. According to the Times, the two sides should focus not on whether a hand-off of work is necessary, but exactly how it will be done, and who will do it.
But more than anything else, said Deborah, what will make these open-ended policies work is the relationship between the manager and the worker. “It’s based,” she says, “on trust.”
Tell us: What have your experiences with maternity leave been like? Do we need to change our policies as a nation?
Jane Farell is a senior editor at BettyConfidential.